The Wonders of Wood: Cooperages and alcohol producers are expanding the roles barrels can play in altering or refining a beverage’s flavor profile.

A well-built barrel provides alcohol beverage producers the opportunity to fully take advantage of the alchemy that occurs when juice or mash comes in contact with wood. And a finished wine, beer, cider, or spirit can take on even more complexity if it spends time in a used barrel—kissed by the impression of another beverage.   The barrel family tree According to Henry H. Work in Wood, Whiskey and Wine: A History of Barrels, wooden barrels were developed by the Celts in the first millennium BC. As their design and quality became increasingly refined between 1300 BC and AD...

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