Whisky Tasting Class 18: Bookish Notes
It is said that most of the whisky lovers are also lovers of reading. One of the things they like to do is stick their noses into a glass or a book. During the pandemic, whisky lovers who are isolated from their homes have plenty of time to enjoy the slow hours of tasting and reading.
A large tome bound in calfskin or a delicate cloth book with the scent of modern chemicals such as paper, ink and adhesives often fascinates reading enthusiasts. This flavor can also be found in many whiskies. The reason for this is this: the paper in the book and the magic of time.
The paper used to make books is made of wood pulp. After decades of decay, wood pulp releases many of the same aromatic compounds as in oak barrels. Scientists have even developed an odor wheel to describe and classify the smells in these old books, such as the biscuit-like aromas of vanillin, benzaldehyde, ethylbenzene, and furfural, which come from the degradation of wood compounds. Coupled with binding and mulching materials, they produce the bizarre scent of vanilla, almonds, dried leaves and grass, as well as the smell of polished antique bookcases, musty and old leather.
For many, these enchanting aromas are a symbol of ripe whisky.
To familiarize yourself with such aromas and flavours, start with refill or triple-fill bourbon barrel-aged malt whisky or grain whisky. Older malt, bourbon and rye whiskies that have been refilled in sherry barrels also reveal more ripe leather, nuts and woody features.
1, the United States New Riff Backsetter Peated Backset Bottled in Bond Rye, old books, polished oak, nuts;
2. Kanosuke New Born, new book, pea pods, binding glue, Belgian chocolate;
3. Deanston 12 years old, Scotland, leather, figs, polished calfskin covers, tobacco.