American Liquor Oak Barrels
What Happens To Liquor When It Is Aged In An Oak Barrel?
Most high-end liquor bottles boast about their aging process in oak barrels. A liquor’s aging process could even part of the name of the brand, like Macallen 12. When it comes to liquor, the longer an aging process is inside oak barrels, the more a bottle of liquor will cost. Why is this? There are many things that can affect liquor aged in oak barrels. The process of aging liquor in oak barrels can take a couple of weeks or even a year.
Oak barrels used for aging need to be in a space that is humid and where the temperatures are changing all through the day. Contraction and expansion of liquor is critical for the aging process in oak barrels. It is necessary for the liquor to expand into the oak barrels wood. The liquid has the ability to penetrate nearly half way inside the edges of the oak barrels. The liquid retreats after the temperature has cooled off. This brings out a great amount of flavor, which comes directly from the oak barrels.
People often discuss the tannins found in wine. The taste of tannins can definitely be found in red wines. This comes from the stems and skins of the grapes. When wine is aged in oak barrels, some tannins get drawn out of the wood from the oak barrels.
One other key factor in the aging process in oak barrels is wood sugars being infused into the liquor. Charred oak barrels really bring out the wood sugars due to the heating process. The wood’s natural elements from the oak barrels are drawn into the liquor. The liquor is given a slight sweetness and depth of flavor by the wood sugars. Aging with oak barrels provides liquor with butterscotch, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla flavor. Oak barrels also make liquor much smoother to the taste.