Eau-de-vie meets oakAGEING
The new eau-de-vie will spend several years in oak casks
The new eau-de-vie will spend several years in oak casks.
This is the ageing stage. The maturation that takes place can last for decades.
As the eau-de-vie ages, it evolves : its aromas colour and flavour all change.
This evolution is related most notably to the compounds in the heartwood and its permeability. Its compounds are extracted by the eau-de-vie. It must be watertight enough not to lose any liquid but permeable enough to allow the exchange of gas.
Historically, oak seems to have been chosen for its long, usable life cycle. Indeed, casks can be used for several decades.
Wine spirits for direct human consumption are aged in wooden receptacles for at least two years (as per a modified 2003 decree abrogating the law dated 20 February 1946) in the region of production.