I don’t usually post here about articles I’ve written for Malt Advocate, WHISKY Magazine, and other publications. For one thing, the lead times are so long I’ve usually forgotten all about them by the time they’re published.
But I’m very excited about a piece I have in the new issue of Malt Advocate. (Volume 19, Number 4. Winter 2010.) My enthusiasm starts with the title: “Quercus Alba and the Rise of the Eumycotians.”
For a writer, the most satisfying work is when you learn something new that you can then share with readers. On this project I learned a lot about how new whiskey barrels are made and, in particular, how they are being improved. “Quercus Alba,” in case you don’t know, is American white oak, the wood used to make whiskey barrels. “Eumycota” are true fungi, including yeasts and mushrooms, the latter of which figure prominently in stave seasoning.
If that intrigues you, there is also a fascinating story by Jonny McCormick about barrel management practices in Scotland.
It’s an issue with major wood.