New “science of rum” paper from Lost Spirits Distillery now online

Longtime readers know I’m a big fan of Lost Spirits Distillery in central California. I’ve written about them extensively, with most of the hard science the result of long conversations with Bryan Davis, co-owner and master distiller. This is really wonky stuff: yeasts, acids, esters, and chemical analysis – true rum science.

Very recently, Bryan put up the first (of what hopefully will be several) pages on the Lost Spirits site where he shares the results of in-depth chemical analysis of pairs of rums, including annotated gas chromatographs. Titled “Trace Carboxylic Acid & Ester Origin in Mature Spirits”, it’s full of meaty observations like this:

This observation appears to confirm that the trace ester density is not only predetermined prior to the spirit entering the cask but that the distillation cuts and level of rectification has a massive effect on the final character of the aged spirit.

The page link is here. Alternatively, visit the Lost Spirits site and click on the “Science” link.

1 thought on “New “science of rum” paper from Lost Spirits Distillery now online

  1. While GC, GC-Mass spec and many other robust technologies can give detailed profiles of spirit congeners – the complexity of detection thresholds and antagonistic and synergistic interactions means a chemically “perfect”spirit can taste horrible at worst and less than authentic at best. We need to better understand how to evaluate, via the senses, high alcohol containing spirits. The volatility of congeners in complex mixtures is only just now becoming understood as is our understanding as to how the brain can assess and dissect complex matrices. To make bold claims at this stage about rapid maturation, based on GC data and little sensory evaluation is naive at best.

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