The effect of cask charring on Scotch whisky maturation
Analysis of variance showed that the charred cask samples were described as more smooth, vanilla, sweet, malty (P < 0.001), spicy, fruity (eatery) and floral (P<0.01), and in many respects the longer-matured samples were reminiscent of Bourbon whiskeys. In contrast the uncharred cask samples were described as more pungent, grainy, sour, oily, sulphury (P<0.001), catty (P<0.01), meaty and fishy (P<0.05). Similar changes occurred in both charred and uncharred cask samples during maturation. Ratings of spicy, fruity (other), smooth, sweet and vanilla increased (P < 0.001) as maturation progressed. Ratings of pungent (P < 0.001) and sour (P < 0.05) also increased significantly during maturation for the uncharred cask samples. Summaries of the sensory data at 12, 24, and 36 months maturation are shown in Table 3.