Glenmorangie Distillery tour with Dr Bill Lumsden

21st August, 2017 by Annie Hayes

So, how does the process work? “What we’re looking for is so-called slow-growth or tight grained oak – between eight and 12 growth rings per inch,” says Bill. “Any more than that and the wood becomes too brittle, any less and the wood becomes too heavy and dense and you don’t extract as much flavour from it.” Once the optimum trees have been identified, they are transported to sawmills in Tennessee and Arkensas and quarter-sawn into staves. “The normal practice for a stave like like that is to dry it in an oven, which will take anything between two and six weeks, but the wood’s still very immature, very green, and you get a lot of resinous characters,” Bill explains. “Our wood is allowed to season naturally in the open air for a minimum of two years, typically between two and three years. The wood matures, the tannins [are] broken down, the internal structure relaxes and it releases more of these nice vanilla and crème brûlée flavours.”

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