Barrel toasting or “bousinage” is an essential part of spirits production.
Did you know that there are three types of barrels heating?
Light, medium and heavy heating.
Light toast is ideal for subtle spirits, while medium toast adds vanilla, caramel and toasty notes to full-bodied products. Strong toasting is used for powerful spirits, adding flavors of smoke, charcoal and burnt wood.
Today, this is a real economic and strategic choice for Armagnac maturing, depending on the type of Armagnac chosen (young Armagnacs, search for complexity, opening up to the world of other spirits…).
At L’Encantada, Vincent, the Cellar Master, selects the toast and type of wood only after a tasting at the still outlet. The breeding strategy will be adapted to the distillate, not the other way around.
We are committed to continuing to work with an artisan cooper (Tonnellerie Bartholomo).
Light sharpe is the gentlest heating process. The barrels are heated for a short period at a relatively low temperature, usually between 180 and 200 degrees Celsius. This method is often used for delicate wines and subtle spirits, as it allows the product’s natural aromas and flavors to develop without being masked by barrel flavors.
Medium heating is a more intense heating process. Barrels are heated to a higher temperature, generally between 220 and 240 degrees Celsius, for a longer period. This method is often used for fuller-bodied wines and spirits, as it adds notes of vanilla, caramel and toast to the product’s natural aromas and flavors.
Strong heating is the most intense heating process. The barrels are heated to a very high temperature, usually between 260 and 280 degrees Celsius, for an extended period. This method is often used for strong spirits like whisky, as it adds smoke, charcoal and burnt-wood flavors to the final product.
In conclusion, toasting is a key element in the ageing of our armagnacs. By choosing the right type of toasting, Vincent, the Maître de Chai can influence the aromas of the final product. We are committed to working with an artisan cooper (Tonnellerie Bartholomo).