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Now, we have put our own oak products to trial as well, and these are the results:
As base we took 100% rye spirits with malted wheat (we call it "Korn") at cask strength of 65% ABV. A good distiller friend was kind enough to fill up our trial stock for this.
Exactly 20 grams of wood (we have used staves and blocks with different kinds of toastings) were placed in each jar with 1 liter of Korn, which is a reasonable recommendation together with an aging & flavoring period of 4 weeks (I gave them 1 week more just to be sure). Today I removed the wood and filled the product back into bottles. There wasn't any more change in color during last week so I guess 4 weeks should really be enough, for those who can't wait.
Because the spirits were young (distilled not long before I filled the jars) we will let the bottles sit for at least another month to give it some more time to settle. Ideally it should sit about 6 months, but I am not sure, if it will survive that long. ;)
For now, I can tell, that there are significant differences in color, and after a quick tasting, some of the samples have very unique flavor profiles. Some of them smell sweet with much vanilla, some give a hint of smoky whiskey, one even had some leather notes. But I think, the aging is not done yet, so I'll wait with writing up an accurate description till the time has come to finally dilute to drinking strength at about 40 to 42% ABV in a month or so.
For our customers we have planned a selection of 10 different oak products in blocks and staves suitable to satisfy everybody's needs, especially when going for fruit brandies like Apple or Plum, which come just perfect with some aging on wood. There is definitely more to come!
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