the whisky lounge - a journal tracking a whisky maturation project involving a newly-acquired oak cask and a significant amount of patience

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Where's PT Barnum When I Need Him?

Today is the day! I'd set up a fanfare of blaring trumpets and a giant parade if I could, but I am sorely lacking in the showmanship department. In any case, I'm sure you're as curious as I am about what the whisky has done with itself after a week in the cask, so I'll dispense with the excessive preamble and cut right to the chase. Here is a photograph of two glasses of whisky. On the left, the unmatured spirit. On the right, the whisky as it appears after having been aged for a week:



[click the photo to embiggen it]


Were I hip with what the kids are saying today, I'd probably exclaim something like "Oh. My. God. It's, like, totally gotten, like, way darker! LOL!" Fortunately, I'm way out of touch with today's youth, so I'll merely say that I'm impressed and a bit shocked at the rapid change in colour. That's only seven days! Damn skippy!

Up close and personal, and in the requisite matching glasses, the difference is more profound than the photograph can convey. The original spirit is very pale yellow. It's a lot like the colour of the water I poured out of the cask after a few days of conditioning. Swirling it around, it leaves a nice coat of spirit clinging to the inside of the glass which strings very slowly down the glass. Its consistency is light and very slightly oily.

The matured spirit is quite a bit darker. It's become rather remarkably orange, though its saturation is still low, if I can co-opt a phrase from the graphic design world. To me, it looks like the colour of a dark orange whisky to which water has been added: it's not pale, it's just not a dense colour. Washed out. As if it were halfway to the colour it will finally become. Makes sense, I think.

The body is the same as the young spirit: it clings nicely to the glass, ever so slowly sliding down, like glycerin. I notice a couple of bits in the glass, a result of me not using a coffee filter. I'll filter it before taking the whole batch out, don't worry.

I'm going to leave the discussions of the nose and palate of the whisky to different posts. I have a nasty habit of excessive verbiage, and hacking the description into three posts might make it easier to digest.

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