“CAN CHEMISTRY EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOURBON AND TENNESSEE WHISKEY?”

“CAN CHEMISTRY EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOURBON AND TENNESSEE WHISKEY?” The caption is the title of a post on the Smithsonian blog which describes research which was presented at a September meeting of the American Chemical Society on the chemical differences among some fifty different whiskeys. The answer to the question is that the researchers found 50 to 100 chemical compounds, such as fatty acids and tannins, that can be used to distinguish a Tennessee whiskey from a bourbon without using taste. Over 4000 different non-volatile compounds were found in the samples, reflecting the complexity of whiskeys. Some of the components were identified as barrel-derived, some came from the grains, and some are thought to come from the yeasts. One of the next steps is, as Tom Collins, one of the researchers puts it, “to understand what the things are that come from the barrels, versus the things that come from the distillate itself.”

This entry was posted in Science, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “CAN CHEMISTRY EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOURBON AND TENNESSEE WHISKEY?”

  1. Better living through chemistry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.