Aging, Lactones, and More Science

March 19, 2013

Mason Jar Bourbon from the Night Cap

I’ve been writing a lot about the science of alcohol recently mainly as a means to distract you from the fact that I probably drink too much. But it must be resonating with a bunch of you because the response has been great!

For those who attended the Night Cap, you had the chance to hear some really interesting details around how bourbon is made. Why oak? Why charred? Why Vanilla? And if this sparked your interest, my good friend Joe found the Scientific American article that’s going to really get you going. This breakdown of the bourbon aging process is one of the best I’ve read and really gets into some fascinating details.

My favorite detail is related to the lactone levels in American Oak versus French Oak. Even if you don’t care to know what a lactone is or how it might impact your whiskey flavor, the point is, very recent analytical methods are now providing insight to tell stories of centuries old. And even more exciting, booze-loving nerds  are using that information to create even better products to enjoy. Can I get another high-five for science?


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