Sensory characterisation of Cognac eaux-de-vie aged in barrels subjected to different toasting processes - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles OENO One Year : 2022

Sensory characterisation of Cognac eaux-de-vie aged in barrels subjected to different toasting processes

Abstract

Toasting is a key step in the barrel-making process. It plays an important role in the breakdown of oak wood compounds and thus influences the chemical composition and organoleptic properties of wines and brandies. However, the effect of toasting on distilled spirit quality has not yet been extensively studied. The objective of this study was therefore to study the impact of toasting on cognac eaux-de-vie by characterising the eaux-de-vie sensorially after 12 months of ageing. Eight eaux-de-vie aged in barrels with 8 different toasts were studied. The 8 toasts represented 4 different temperatures (low, medium, medium plus and high) and two toasting lengths for each temperature (one so-called “normal” and the other “slow”). Sensory analysis was carried out on these eaux-de-vie through several tests. First, a sorting test showed the differences between the samples and then training was carried out on previously chosen descriptors in order to build a sensory profile and perform a ranking test. The study was realised for two alcohol levels: 60 % (v/v), which is the alcohol level of eaux-de-vie in barrels, and 40 % (v/v), which is the alcohol level of a commercial cognac. This approach demonstrated that barrel toasting generally leads to significant sensorial differences in eaux-de-vie during ageing. These differences are greater between a lightly and a highly toasted barrel. This study is a first step in the characterisation of cognac eaux-de-vie aged in barrels made with different toasts.
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hal-03603669 , version 1 (10-03-2022)

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Mathilde Gadrat, Joël Lavergne, Catherine Emo, Pierre Louis Teissedre, Kleopatra Chira. Sensory characterisation of Cognac eaux-de-vie aged in barrels subjected to different toasting processes. OENO One, 2022, 56 (1), pp.17 - 28. ⟨10.20870/oeno-one.2022.56.1.4853⟩. ⟨hal-03603669⟩

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