Recent developments - Try spirits by infrared radiation ~ THE HAIPHONG POST - Breaking News of World

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Recent developments - Try spirits by infrared radiation

Brad Boswell, president of Independent Stave, explains: We heat the staves to make them malleable prior to bending them to form the shape of a barrel. We can heat the staves up using steam, using a wood fire, or using an infrared heat source. Each method will make for a barrel with slightly different organoleptic characteristics. Depending on the organoleptic properties we’re seeking, we can apply one of many toasting options to barrel prior to charring.

Pour two fingers of whiskey into a rocks or tulip glass. Rocks glasses, the classic whiskey cup, are short, round glasses made for 12-14oz or liquid. Tulip glasses are curved wide at the bottom and thinner up top, concentrating the smells near your nose, and are used for more high-class whiskey tastings. While any glass will do, these are the two typical glasses used to serve whiskey
The type of glass that you use will help your cause massively. It is best to use one that has a narrow opening as this will channel and concentrate the aromas of the whisky towards your nostrils. This type of glass is called a snifter, but a similar shaped wine or brandy glass would work just as well. Some come with an additional glass plate that is placed over the top of the glass and this plate helps to trap the aromas. Glasses such as tumblers or those with a wide rim should be avoided for tasting purposes, as the aromas dissipate too quickly. These should be used for drinking the whisky on its own, with ice or when less analysis is needed.
Use the color of the whiskey to gauge its age. Whiskey gets its color from contact with the wooden cask it is aged in. In general, the darker the color, the older the whiskey. Purplish tints can mean the whiskey was aged in sherry or port barrels, giving it a slightly fruitier taste.

Some older whiskeys are aged in bourbon barrels that have been used 2-3 times already, and thus stay light colored despite their aging. This is much more common in bourbons.
Some younger, cheaper whiskeys, like Jack Daniels, have caramel coloring added to them to give them the appearance of classic whiskeys. This is why even cheap whiskey can look dark
The infrared barrel toasting technology is relatively new and is currently being employed for making wine barrels. Boswell says, This toasting technology allows for precision toasting and temperature control while imparting zero smoke from the heat source, as wine makers don’t like the charred or smoky-tasting barrels that whiskey makers do.

This is the sensation and aromas that you pick up from the whisky before tasting it. Important characteristics can be found and should give an indication as to what the whisky will taste like. Pour a reasonable amount of whisky into the glass and swirl it around for a short time, so as to allow oxygen to get to the liquid and evaporation to begin. This is important as the whisky has been trapped in a cask or a bottle for all of its life until this point and needs a little time to express itself and start to show its true characteristics.

Boswell continues, Our coopers like to call the infrared toaster sun on a stick. It is a horizontal apparatus that is inserted into the barrel before the ends, or as we call them heads, are put on the barrel. 
Lift the glass to your nose for a smell. Don't jam your nostrils in, as the scent of alcohol will be so overpowering that you won't notice any of the flavors. Instead, bring the glass to your nose slowly until you can smell it well. What do you notice? What sorts of flavors are present? Smell is often the best indicator of a whiskey's flavor, and many master blenders use their noses more than their tongues when making whiskey.
The energy from the short wavelengths and long wavelengths toasts the inside and the surface of the staves at different rates. We can create a very hot surface with a relatively cool interior or we can create a more homogenous temperature. For the Buffalo Trace experiment we used the infrared elements and power levels we thought would provide them the best-tasting bourbon.

Distiller Wheatley said that though their goal was not to make a shortcut bourbon that was aged in less time, They seemed slightly ahead of normal cycling and slightly more woody character to me. Some [of the other members of the tasting panel] just said there was more complexity or flavor in general. To each their own on that.
The flavour of the whisky on your palate should be the most rewarding and enjoyable part of the whole process. The most important thing is not to drink the whisky too fast, rather to savour it in your mouth to get the maximum flavour and benefit. Different parts of your tongue and mouth respond to different flavours and stimuli, so pass the whisky over all areas of your mouth to gain maximum effect.
Place a few drops of clean water into your whiskey. This drop of water not only dilutes the whiskey slightly, making the flavor a bit more manageable to novice drinkers, it also opens up the flavors and makes them more noticeable. Whenever possible, use distilled or bottled water to preserve the flavor of the whiskey.This is because high-alcohol whiskeys can feel like they burn your tongue, preventing you from enjoying many of the flavors.

Upon swallowing, there will be an alcoholic burn, which is one of the main things that puts a lot of people off drinking whisky. It is important to let this pass as it is now that any whisky will reveal its true characteristics. Try to identify obvious flavours that are present and repeat, trying to identify something new each time. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers and everyone's taste buds are different so don't worry if you get a flavour that someone else doesn't or vice versa.

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