Allow me to introduce this 2 liter barrel which is about to go on a journey of attempted aging. I have grand designs for this barrel, but day 1 of this after requisite soaking is a first fill of the homeboy Remy Martin VSOP. Honestly I have no strong desire to barrel age this cognac in of itself but I have plans for a second fill that need the apricot fruit punch that Remy Martin VSOP comes with. That, and I'm not aiming on just oaking the second fill. But I'm still a bit intrigued by what a bourbon-esque aging will do to a cognac. I'll keep the updates coming strong but it's gonna be a couple weeks before any serious progress.
Beginning the #barrelaging process. Barrel Crusher 2019 going into barrels while 2018 is moving to bright tank. I've learned to be more patient with the beer as it ages. The notes are ever changing ever teaching. #liveinspired
The key to whiskey’s flavor is the aging process, not fermentation. Once we put whiskey in those barrels, it does what it does best, thanks to ethanol. Ethanol is really good about dissolving flavor molecules so once we’ve got whiskey in those barrels it starts leeching all those delicious flavor chemicals out of the wood of the barrels.
To get even more flavor into the whiskey, the insides of the barrel are charred with flame. That causes chemical reactions in the wood that produce a whole range of additional flavors. Charring is good for making more phenolic compounds, exemplified by this structure.
One of them, guaiacol, has a smokey flavor. Meta-cresol smells a bit like bandaids and shows up in scotch, mostly thanks to the peaty smoke that’s used in scotch distilling. No, I don’t understand scotch drinkers either.
#science#chemistry#whiskey#bourbon#aging#bar#barrelg #barrel #alcohol#molecules#ethanol#flavor#phenolic#compounds#guaiacol#scicomm#scotch