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What is the Difference between Whiskey Barrels and Wine barrels?

The difference between whiskey and oak barrels is in how they are toasted. While both whiskeys and wines are often matured in barrels for extended periods to add a different element to the beverage, the are

difference

The difference between whiskey and oak barrels is in how they are toasted.

While both whiskeys and wines are often matured in barrels for extended periods to add a different element to the beverage, the are some differences between these two.

The barrels that are used for whiskeys are made differently from how wine barrels are made – which significantly impacts the flavor the oak adds.

 

Wine Barrels

Wine barrels are most often toasted on the inside to release the natural sugar and flavor that the oak provides. This toast can either be light, medium, or high, and they all add their own range of aromas and flavors that range from vanilla, butterscotch, coconut to smoke and caramel.

Charring Side image

 

Whiskey Barrels

Whiskey barrels are not toasted, but instead, are charred. This process is not as intense as the toasting of an oak barrel and is primarily done to remove impurities and remove the raw-wood flavors.

 

Difference between charring and toasting

So, although it seems like the same thing, the main difference between charring and toasting is the amount of time that the barrel is exposed to the open flame.

For toasted barrels, depending on the level of toast, the oak is exposed for between 15 and 30 minutes. With charred whiskey barrels, however, the flame is only in contact with the oak for a few minutes. So whenever you compare the difference between whiskey and wine barrels, you will notice that the barrels are precisely the same, but the toasting and charring are where the difference lies.

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