​On the Influence of Wood on Flavor

Many of the most popular liquors, such as whiskey or brown rum, are matured in wood barrels prior to consumption. In an article for the cocktail blog Tales of the Cocktail, I explored what happens to a spirit during that time and why the finished product is so much more complex and smoother than the starting material. From the choice of wood to the intensity of charring and the geographic location of maturation, many components have a noticeable impact on the final product. In general, the interactions between stored liquid and the surrounding wood, together with processes such as evaporation, shape the process of maturation and yield the delicious product many of us have learned to appreciate.

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