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  1. #1
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Loveland CO
    Posts
    160

    Distillate Interaction with wood

    All right you chemists, sharpen your pencils and plug in your TI-84s.
    Am intrigued with Springhill Indiana Straight Bourbon, which claims it is double barreled. Have emailed them asking how much time the juice sits in each barrel but no word yet.
    Got me to thinking: just how many times will the entire distillate get in and out of the barrel wood per year? Assuming weather by season across the years is constant, does the wood impart the same amount of influence each year, each year up to a certain age, or does it decrease from the get-go year after year? And is angels share release constant? I'd think not, but chemistry and I never were terribly good friends.
    If the barrel influence is constant year after year, does switching out barrels at year 3 make a difference? I'm assuming Springhill Straight Bourbon (nas) is a 4yr old.
    Did anyone else ever double barrel?
    Mark

  2. #2

    Re: Distillate Interaction with wood

    There are lots of variables: type of wood, degree of char, temperature fluctuations, humidity, vibrations from train tracks next to the rack ...

    Lots of games played with wood. Woodford double oak and the 46 lattice experiment are two recent examples. Woodford Four Wood is an excellent example. Lots of folks do the second barrel "finish" which does add character as well as marketing pizzazz.

    Wood is a science, art, and marketing tool. I'm a wood fan and go for old and wood and tannins and bitter and leather and yechy stuff others complain about. But with age run the risk of losing fruits and vegetables. The fruity nose and good peppers give dimension. It's all an art and that's why the master distillers get great reputations and should get higher $$$.

  3. #3
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Southwest MI
    Posts
    371

    Re: Distillate Interaction with wood

    Getting flavor out of the barrel is essentially a solid-liquid extraction, kind of like making tea. The flavor of the tea depends on how long you steep the tea leaves, the ratio of tea leaves to water, the temperature of the water, and so on. If you don't steep it long enough, you'll have weak-tasting tea. If you let it steep too long, you'll extract bitter compounds. If you want your tea to be more flavorful but not bitter, you could steep another bunch of tea leaves in the same water, and that would be like using a second barrel.
    Pete

    I hate scotch.

  4. #4
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee
    Posts
    1,372

    Re: Distillate Interaction with wood

    Prichard's has been bottling a double barreled Bourbon for years. It used to be all sourced product but these days contains both sourced and their own make.

 

 

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