It is essential to understand the unique principle behind complex aged spirits: Cognac, Armagnac, Brandy, Calvados, Agricole Rum, Whiskies, etc:
Concentration of aromatics and complexity!!!
Through the distillation process 10 L of wine give 1L of spirit. The aromatics of the wine will be multiplied by 10!
Through the maturation process in oak barrels the slow evaporation of alcohol and water will further reduce
and concentrate the spirit (by a factor of 2 over 20 to 30 years henceforth 20 times the initial concentration of
the aromatics in the wine).
The added benefits of aging is the slow and minute oxidization of the aromatics (esters) undergoing variation
and diversification, therefore increasing complexity.
From the above principle one understands the characteristics of complex aged spirits:
- They cannot be cheap.
- They are enjoyed via the nose even more than via the palate.
- Only a tiny quantity must be sipped to distinguish the various aromas by dilution in the mouth to avoid the numbing of senses.
- They must be given time in the glass to release their esters, according to their degree of?? volatility.
- They must be talked about to compare impression (they are therefore a conversation drink).
- Their enjoyment requires patience and a certain intellectual effort.