This study investigates the influence of different levels of wood heat treatment on the quality of a Cognac spirit using a pilot barrel model. The pilot barrels were composed of a stainless steel cylinder closed at both ends by a piece of stave. The aim of the study was to analyze the impact of wood heat treatment on Cognac in both analytical and sensory terms and to confirm the validity of the pilot barrel model. The findings give a relatively wide view of the influence on the composition of Cognac of new wood heated at different temperatures. Heating gave notes of «vanilla» and «toasted» to the spirit while excessive heating led to lower quality with the appearance of «fungus» and «dusty». The good quality of the spirits obtained validates the pilot barrel as a model for the extraction of wood compounds by spirit.
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