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  1. #11
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    Re: Why oak barrels?

    Quote Originally Posted by BFerguson View Post
    Most simple put, taste and function.

    White Oak has a nice taste, but so do others, maple, cherry probably being the best. Walnut and red oak, nasty and smelly, expecially ingested. Cedar and pine, no way, unless you are a fan of Retsina.

    Then there is the function. White oak is basically waterproof, due to the tyloses present in the pores of the wood. Kind of important when trying to keep a liquid contained. Others, not so much. I remember seeing a pic of the maple barrels Woodford used, leakiest things I'd ever seen.

    Personally, I'd love to taste something aged in charred cherry. it smells so sweet when working it, and it's the best kept secret in grilling woods.

    B
    I'd love to try some cherry-aged whiskey. It's been tried with wine, and it seems it confers the tannins more quickly than oak. That could be good for people who like extra-aged spirits like the 15+ year old bourbons and ryes. I also use cherry for grilling and smoking, and I think it's great. It's also quite nice looking when finished with a nice, deep stain.

    To answer another question, the charring serves two purposes: it caramelizes the sugars in the wood, and it increases the surface area of the wood as well.
    Pete

    I hate scotch.

  2. #12
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    Re: Why oak barrels?

    Oak Barrels seal up other woods do not. Pines and cedars would have resins like someone else posted, Be very nasty.
    Last edited by p_elliott; 03-21-2013 at 01:09.
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider, is chaos for the fly.

  3. #13
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    Re: Why oak barrels?

    Why would cherry not seal? I know they've done experiments with aging wines in cherry barrels.
    Pete

    I hate scotch.

  4. #14
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    Re: Why oak barrels?

    All wood will seal, white oak is what they barreled pickles in up in PA, and that's what the Rev. Used to send it down river in. It's all in the history and practicality. Red oak is a highly ring porous wood and will seep.
    "You can't claim to have been drinkin all day if you don't start first thing in the mornin."

  5. #15
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    Re: Why oak barrels?

    The two woods have different grain structure, the cherry is denser and tighter. The more open oak grain will swell as it absorbs liquid thus pressing the staves together in a watertight fit. Cherry can be made to work, with caulking or sealant just about any wood can, but oak wins out on practicality and the unique flavor it imparts to the spirits.

  6. #16
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    Re: Why oak barrels?

    It's not cherry, but there was a corn whiskey (they called it "Virginia Whiskey") called Kopper Kettle made by the Belmont Farms folks that was made using an infusion of applewood chunks. I have some in the old bunker. It's ok, but not great.
    bibamus, moriendum est
    Sipology Blog

  7. #17
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    Re: Why oak barrels?

    What's your take on the tannic level in that one Josh?

  8. #18
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    Re: Why oak barrels?

    Quote Originally Posted by p_elliott View Post
    Oak Barrels seal up other woods do not. Pines and cedars would have resins like someone else posted, Be very nasty.
    I should have said SOME other woods will not seal. Some do but don't put off good flavors. BT has experimented with this haven't had results they were happy with.
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider, is chaos for the fly.

  9. #19
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    Re: Why oak barrels?

    Quote Originally Posted by squire View Post
    What's your take on the tannic level in that one Josh?
    I thought it was OK. Not overly tannic. It certainly added to the whiskey and took some of the rough edges off but it didn't add enough to take it into the "good" category.
    bibamus, moriendum est
    Sipology Blog

  10. #20
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    Re: Why oak barrels?

    There is a whiskey made here in Florida that uses orange tree chips in small oak barrels. Palm Ridge Reserve. It's pretty typical of a lot of the young micro juice aged in small barrels except the wood from the orange trees gives it a tiny little bit of citrus flavor. I'll bet it would make an interesting cocktail.

 

 

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