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Castle Long Rerserve et l'art du vieillissement en fût de chêne.

Castle Long Rerserve et l'art du vieillissement en fût de chêne.

Castle Long Reserve et l'art du vieillissement en fût de chêne.

La maison Californienne Five Pawns a essuyé de nombreuses critiques de la part de la communauté, n'empêche qu'elle reste l'une des meilleures maisons de e-liquides sur le marché mondial. Elle nous le prouve encore une fois en ce début 2019, avec une édition limitée de leur fameux Castle Long Reserve steepé en fût de chêne durant 3 semaines. Five Pawns a affuté son savoir-faire auprès de nombreuses distilleries autour du globe. Mais que font-ils vraiment ? Quelles techniques utilisent-ils ? Quel intérêt ?

Le vieillissement en fût de chêne, histoire et procédé ? Le choix de Five Pawns.

C'est seulement à partir du XXème siècle que les producteurs de whisky s'intéressent aux fûts de chêne pour conserver et faire mûrir leur whisky au minimum 3 ans. Avant cela, le fût de chêne était simplement utilisé comme réceptacle.

Les fûts de chêne utilisés pour l'affinage des whisky et rhums

Les différentes variétés de fûts de chêne.

On utilise principalement 3 variétés de chêne pour la fabrication de fûts sur plus de 50 variétés de chêne.

La plus couramment employée est le chêne blanc, facile à courber, au grain dur et serré réputé pour sa faible porosité. Le chêne blanc provient des forêts du nord-est des Etats-Unis. 

Les producteurs Ecossais utilisent également beaucoup le chêne Européen pour sa plus grande porosité offrant une palette aromatique plus importante.

Le chêne Français a depuis peu fait son apparition dans le processus de vieillissement, utilisé principalement pour l'affinage de cognac.

Five Pawns a choisi de faire vieillir son Castle Long dans des fûts de chêne américain, pour une réelle volonté de ne pas apporter une palette aromatique boisée trop importante.

Les différentes tailles de fûts de chêne.

Il existe plusieurs tailles de fûts. La taille impacte sur le développement plus ou moins rapide des arômes. Plus le fût est petit, plus cela sera rapide.

On utilise 4 types de fûts principalement :

 - LE BOURBON BARREL d'une contenance de 180 Litres, principalement utilisé pour les wiskeys américains.

 - LE HOGSHEAD d'une contenance de 250 Litres.

 - LE SHERRY BUTT d'une contenance entre 480 et 520 Litres. Ils sont les plus chers du marché et deviennent difficiles à trouver.

 - LE PUNCHEON d'une contenance entre 480 et 520 Litres.

Ces différents fûts peuvent être utilisés en l'état ou subir différents traitements. Par exemple le wine seasonning qui consiste à louer les fûts aux producteur de xeres le temps de l'élevage ou encore le charring qui consiste à brûler plus ou moins intensivement l'intérieur du fût afin de concentrer la palette aromatique du chêne en sa surface.

Five Pawns utilise des fûts en l'état qui ont servi 3 fois. C'est lorsque les fûts sont peu utilisés qu'ils apportent une couleur ambrée au contenu. Ils n'ont volontairement pas utilisé le sharring afin de ne toujours pas apporter de notes boisées. 

Les conditions du steep.

Five Pawns utilise les même méthodes pour vieillir leur Castle Long que les producteurs de whisky, et chaque paramètres est tout aussi important dans le processus de vieillissement des whiskys que pour celui des e-liquides.

3 facteurs sont primordiaux et entrent dans l'équation : l'entrepôt, le climat et l'environnement. La circulation de l'air est un facteur important et ainsi l'air de l'environnement aussi. On retrouvera, par exemple, des notes marines dans les whisky stockés près de la mer en Ecosse.

Five Pawns a entreposé ses fûts dans une pièce à température ambiante et sombre.

Test du castle long reserve edition 2017

Pour cette recette vieillie en fût, Five Pawns a ajouter à la recette traditionnelle une note de crème anglaise apportant une rondeur et une légère gourmandise au liquide. Tous leurs choix font de cette cuvée 2019, un Castle long aux notes légèrement boisées, un peu plus alcoolisées et plus rondes. 


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