Bite-sized learning on everything and anything relating to wood, casks and the maturation of spirits by Dr. Martin Purvis.
I love thinking of a barrel as a catalytic convertor.
1. Additive Reactions
a. Flavour compounds from oak transfer into the spirit
b. Promoted by heat – needed to break the insoluble wood down
c. Previous fills have an impact – flavour active compounds are left behind. Their impact on the wood is important.
2.Subtractive Reactions and effects
a. Evaporation of volatiles
b. Char Mediated Adsorbtion/Degradation of undesirable flavours
c. Chemical reactions – changes to sensory characteristics
d. Masking of immature characters
3. Concentration of flavour over time
The Angels share is important. For example Scotch can lose ~6-10% over three years.
After 12 years that can equate to ~ 25% loss assuming.~2% per annum plus in drink.
That’s a lot of activity in a simple barrel!
Qualifications: BSc/PHD Geology, MSc Brew/Distilling, MBA Luxury Brand Marketing and Family Business
Background: Martin has worked for nearly 20 years across the spirit drinks industry in a variety of roles from Technical Support, Compliance, Food Safety, HMRC, Blending, Procurement of raw materials, Barrel Procurement, Maturation improvement, grain storage and merchanting, used and new barrel sales, customer relationship management, new business development.