The Best Wood To Pair With Your Whiskey

A glass of whiskey in old oak barrel. Copper alambic on background. Traditional alcohol distillery concept

For a small batch of whiskey, there are many potential pairings of whiskey and wood. To make the best batch, you should understand the different types of whiskey barrels and their impact on flavor. The best place to start is with the most used wood for whiskey: oak.

Oak: The Most Common Wood Notes for Whiskey

Oak is one of the most common wood notes for whiskey and is a prime indicator of quality. But there are many different species of oak, and some oak wood notes for whiskey are better than others. According to one source, the two best variants of oak come from certain regions in North America or France. As we mentioned before, the toast of the wood can determine the depth of flavor; however, the woods themselves are often cited as having a caramel, nutty, and vanilla flavor profile.

Some of the potential species of oak used are white oak is red oak. Each of these types of whiskey barrels will impart a slightly different taste to your small batch, but it will also vary based on the toast level of the wood. The best thing to do is research which flavor notes you wish to impart and opt for the highest quality wood available.

Unique Pairings of Whiskey and Wood

Though oak is the most popular, it isn’t the only option for your product. People can use hickory, maple, redwood, walnut, cherry, and chestnut to introduce new and exciting flavors to their whiskeys.

Hickory, maple, and cherry can give your batch a sweeter note that pairs well with meats, while redwood will give a spicy flavor with a buttery texture. For fans of nutty flavors, there’s probably a no better choice than walnut or chestnut–depending on which you prefer. Introducing these unique woods can be a great way to make your batch stand out.

Finding the Best Wood Whiskey Barrels

It can be difficult for smaller operations, or even enthusiasts, to commit to barrels for small batches. For these people, you can use an Infusion Spiral instead. This system delivers the same taste from oak whiskey barrels in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the price. With the Infusion Spiral, you can even select the level of toast on the product, to deliver a deep and concentrated flavor to your product. To find out more and select the right Infusion Spiral for your needs, visit our product page.