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Complex Aromas in Aged Cognac

AromasThe American Chemical Society has identified a few compounds, not previously known, which contribute to an aged cognac’s complex aromas. Using cognacs ranging from about 10 – 50 years old, a combination of gas chromatography/olfactometry and mass spectrometry separated, smelled and identified their various components. Of the many found, several terpenoids (which give wine its floral notes) were identified for the first time. A sensory panel then looked at how, when mixed, these cognac compounds contributed to ageing aromas eg they found that whisky lactone and β-damascenone enhanced the sensation of a mix of terpenes found in aged distillates but not in younger ones.  The report suggests that these findings could help producers develop cognacs with better flavours, although it only refers to blended cognacs.  So, our single cask Hermitage Cognacs will continue to receive their wonderful aromas and flavours from the oak.