hist-brewing: Re: Charring Casks

Jeff Renner nerenner at umich.edu
Tue Dec 14 07:03:08 PST 1999

Scotti <PBLoomis at aol.com>asked me to clarify myself:

><< Of course, since a major component of
> bourbon (and Tennessee and straight rye) whiskey flavor comes from the
> charred barrels, less dilution means richer barrel tones, all other things
> being equal. >>
>    You mean barreling at lower ABV requires less subsequent dilution, and
>therefore richer flavor??

Exactly right.

><< (bottled at >62.5% as bourbon gains in strength as it ages, as opposed to
>Scotch, which loses) >>
>    Can you explain why??  I would think the physics of evaporation would be
>the same.

Apparently it's a matter of climatic differences - cool damp weather in
Scotland and hot, dry summers in Kentucky.   And the Kentucky warehouses
are usually bigger, as well as hotter.  They both lose up to 1/3 total
volume during the aging (depending on length of aging), which is called the
angel's share, but slightly more EtOH is lost in Scotland.  Or maybe it's
that slightly less water is lost, due to the higher relative humidity.


Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, c/o nerenner at umich.edu
"One never knows, do one?"  Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. 

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