How does whiskey develop its unique flavor profile?

How do whiskey, rye, and bourbon develop their unique flavor profile?
September 13, 2013

How does it get its nice mellow flavor and just what’s going on in the 53 gallon oak barrel aging for decades?
Here to talk about that is Thomas Collins.
He’s the director of research for the food safety and measurement facility, University California, Davis.

I studied oak aroma and flavor chemistry for the wine industry.
At the time, I worked for a large winery in California that owned a cooperage and we did a lot of work looking at oak chemistry and how it impacts the flavor of wines.

the toasting process and whether this is toasting for wine or toasting for whiskey or charring for whiskey … toasting is the process once the barrel has been formed into shape, of heating it over a fire to basically heat it enough to break down some of the structural components of the wood itself.
And so you get some flavor compounds that are released from the breakdown of lignin or cellulose or some of the other structural components of the wood.

And then, when you put wine, or in this case whiskey, into that barrel, ethanol is a very good solvent and it will extract some of those components from the wood itself and that becomes part of the composition of the wine or the whiskey.

Get the most bang from your bubbly (audio)

Get the most bang from your bubbly
Dec. 28, 2012
you just don’t get much smell when you put a bottle to your mouth. Much better is to drink beer from a glass.

many bars serve frosted glasses. They think that’s quite fancy and wonderful. But actually, I think that’s a bad idea. It turns out that if you cool liquids that contain gases, they really – the liquids dissolve the gases better and they – it is the gas coming off the liquid, which is part of the aroma, which makes, again, beer be so enjoyable to many of us.

just like you can have second-hand smoke, Ira, you can have second-hand lipstick.

Chemistry of Everyday Life

example: What is hairspray made of?
Last Revised 02/15/10


Organic chemistry > Carboxylic acids and derivatives > Formation of carboxylic acid derivatives

How to make amides
by chemistNATE

Mar 26, 2014
Amidization: An Amide forms when you combine a carboxylic acid and an amine. The amine attacks the carbonyl carbon, which becomes C-O(-). The OH from the carboxylic acid gets protonated and leaves as H2O as the carbonyl functional group reforms.

Brown et al.
MasteringChemistry® with eText for
Chemistry: The Central Science, 13/e