I feel the need to have some sort of goal in 2017 for the Nerd Section of the iLaddie Blog. So as I am writing this I will formulate some To Do’s for 2017.

The goals I had set for 2016 included:

  1. Finding out the influence of Sherry / Port (previous content)
  2. Finding out the influence of different type of Casks (wood)
  3. Finding out the different production processes
  4. Finding out where the different congeners come from in the production process

I have learned so much in the past year, but I am far from done with these points. I still need to taste more sherry, port, rum, bourbon to get a better feel for identifying the influences on the whisky.

I am still maturing my own whisky as an experiment. I took 100 ml samples at different periods in time.

my dram getting darker every month

I will taste and compare ones the whisky reaches 6 month maturation. Above you can “clearly” see the influence of only 4 weeks on a new make spirit. You can read about al this in this blog entry.

What will I do in 2017?

  1. I will use all the tastes and smells mentioned in the Revised Scotch Flavour Wheel and make a description of where the flavour / smell / influence comes from. This will result in a maximum of 168 blogs, since there are 168 influences mentioned in the wheel. Blogs with this content will be tagged #RSWFW. I won’t say I will finish this task in 2017!
  2. I will try to find out what the relationship is between the alcohol ABV % of a liquid and how a difference in % influences the interactions between that liquid and the wood of the cask. In short, does 10, 15, 40, 60, 80%, 99,6% alcohol influence the chemical processes and process speeds? My background as engineer tells me it should. So I will do this by reading paper and texts but also by doing an experiment, which brings me to point 3.
  3. Do an experiment to demonstrate point 2. I plan to cut pieces of French Oak into small staves and charr them in an identical way. I have 100 ml bottles I can stick them in and then I will add different ABV liquids to the bottles. I will use pure laboratory grade alcohol to do so, not a ready made spirit. I will also use distilled water for this experiment. In this way I get only the influence of water and alcohol on the  wood.
  4. As a fun experiment I will choose one dram, buy about 1.4 liters of it. Than fill 1.3 liters in the cask I have and let it mature for a time. Then compare to the 100ml I held back so you get a before and after. Which dram I will choose? Give me feedback on which one you would suggest. Preferably a malt-driven spirit.

Why do I do this?

Because it’s fun!

The points 2 and 3 are very not well documented in textbooks and papers (if it is well documented then I may have been looking in the wrong places. If you know where, please tell me!) and I want to find out if a low alcohol liquids like sherry leaves enough wood congeners behind to prove or disprove a Thesis I postulated in a previous blog.