Physicochemical behaviour of wine spirit and wine distillate aged in Sherry Casks® and Brandy casks
Brandy is a spirit drink made from “wine spirit” (<86% Alcohol by Volume – ABV; high levels of congeners and they are mainly less volatile than ethanol), it may be blended with a “wine distillate” (<94.8%ABV; low levels of congeners and these are mainly more volatile than ethanol), as long as that distillate does not exceed a maximum of 50% of the alcoholic content of the finished product. Brandy must be aged for at least 6 months in oak casks with <1000L of capacity. During ageing, changes occur in colour, flavour, and aroma that improve the quality of the original distillate. These changes are influenced by factors such as the ageing process itself, cask characteristics (botanical origin, volume, toasting degree, previous usage), and pre-treatments like the sherry wine-seasoning process (Sherry Cask®). In this work, the physicochemical behaviours of wine spirits and wine distillates aged in Sherry Casks® and Brandy casks have been compared.
Methods: “Wine spirit” obtained at 77%ABV and “wine distillate” at 94.6%ABV were diluted with demineralized water to 68%ABV for ageing in American oak casks, medium toast, 500L of capacity and seasoned by 18%ABV Oloroso Sherry wine for 3 years (Sherry Cask®) and “Brandy casks” were only used for ageing brandy for 3 years. It was carried out in duplicate, following a static ageing for 2 years. Oenological parameters, chromatic characteristics, and total polyphenol index (TPI) were carried out according to OIV methodology. Volatile substances were determined by GC-FID.
Results: A substantial difference was observed between the distillates aged in Sherry Cask® and Brandy cask in the parameters influenced by ageing. Aged in Sherry Cask® showed greater increase in TPI and colour. These 2 types of distillates, despite their different initial characteristics, and therefore, their levels of volatile substances, show a similar evolution in the trends of these compounds.
Acknowledgements: The authors wish to thank the University of Cadiz (Spain) and Bodegas Fundador, S.L.U. (Spain) for the industrial predoctoral contract granted to the author Daniel Butrón Benítez.
1) Regulation (EU) 2019/787 European Parliament and Council of 17 April 2019. L130/1-49 (Parlamento europeo y consejo de la unión europea., 2019).
2) Mosedale, J. R., & Puech, J.-L. (1998). Wood maturation of distilled beverages. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 9(3) (1998) 95–101. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0924-2244(98)00024-7
Issue: ICGWS 2023
1 Departamento de Química Analítica, Facultad de Ciencias, Instituto Universitario de Investigación Vitivinícola y Agroalimentaria (IVAGRO) Universidad de Cádiz, Campus Universitario de Puerto Real, 11510 Puerto Real, Cádiz, Spain.
2 Bodegas Fundador S.L.U., C/ San Ildefonso, nº 3, 11403, Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz), Spain.
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Brandy, wine spirit, wine distillate, ageing, Sherry Cask®