How to get a Flavoring in whiskey?!

Question: How to get a Flavoring in whiskey?
(Hypothetically) If i was to make my own whiskey, and wanted it to have extra flavors, could i add spices like vanilla, Cinnamon, caramel, black pepper to the mash? or in the process where the barley is heated to stop it sprouting could you add something to barley malt when it is heated?


When the barely is roasted after germination the maltster can roast the barely to different levels, just like coffee. This is a website that shows the flavors of different types and roast levels of malted barely.

These flavors will come through in the beer or wash, but the process of distillation will only capture the aromatic compounds. Barley imparts a smooth character to a whiskey after distillation.

In addition to barley, whiskey producers also use rye and corn. Corn adds a "sweetness" to the final product, while rye adds spice notes. Distillers look for a balance of these grains to achieve their goal. Keep in mind that the enzymes activated in malting barley are responsible for the starch to sugar conversion in the mashing process, these enzymes are not present in unmalted corn and rye. It is crucial to convert the starches to sugar because yeast are unable to ferment starches.

While the selection of base grains is important, during the distillation process most of the characteristics are lost. Corn is sometimes distilled seperately to a pure grain alcohol, resembling vodka or everclear and then blended with the other grain distillates. The other grains are distilled to a lower alcohol percentage (~80%), making a "dirtier" distillate which contains more aromatic compounds from the grain. Most of the grain flavors are lost in the distillation process, and the majority of what is perceived as whiskey flavor comes from barrel aging.

The raw distillate is placed in charred oak barrels, which impart tannins and flavors to the whiskey. Typical American white oak barrel aging will yield a dark golden color, and hints of cinnamon, caramel, and vanilla. This process takes a number of years, a minimum of two years for "straight" bourbon. Many fine scotches and bourbons are barrel aged for over a decade. When the distiller is happy with the product in the barrel, it is blended with water to bring the alcohol down to 40-50% and bottled.

Once placed in a bottle, whiskey is stable and will keep the same character indefinitely. Some manufactures flavor their whiskey with honey or cherries after it has been taken out of the barrel. You can do this at home with almost anything. Alcohol acts as a solvent for the essential oils and aromatics in spices and fruits, so soaking a cinnamon stick in a bottle for a week or two will make a difference.

If you are looking for the color and flavor of whiskey, there are commercial flavoring kits which can be added to neutral spirits like vodka. The result is a poor excuse for whiskey, but it has some of the flavor.

Your best bet is to add your extra flavorings after distillation. Whiskey gets the vast majority of it's nose and color from the things that influence it during and after distillation. So basically in telling you to try infusing the spirit for the easiest and best results.

Why would you try to destroy a good whiskey ( cos that is Irish whiskey) bad enough to do it with the scottish copycat Whisky!!

The flavour come from the oak barrels where it matures, ie sherry casks.

I just drink it.

use cinnamon

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