Using a method normally reserved for determining mouth feel and other characteristics of wine, researchers at WSU Tri-Cities were able to determine how other liquors respond to being in a barrel.
Postdoctoral Researcher Caroline Merrell and the team looked at a wide range, but for a couple of spirts, there was a pronounced difference.
“What we really found was that it didn’t really matter where you made whiskey, it didn’t matter if it was tequila or whiskey, all that really mattered was what type of oak barrel it was matured in.”
The team was honored at the Worldwide Distilled Spirits Conference in Glasgow, Scotland this year for that discovery.
Merrell said the wine industry uses different barrels from distilled spirits because they don’t really want the same taste, but their discovery could make an impact for distilled spirits makers.
“I think in the future it will help give more information to the distillers about barrel choices.”
Which will mean better quality. Merrell says they are in the beginning stages of the research, and WSU Tri-Cities is hoping to install distillation equipment at the Wine Science Center in the Tri-Cities to continue this research and develop their own spirits.
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