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Many people and books talk about bottle shock, and how 3 months in the bottle greatly improve the spirit as it gets its initial oxidation, rest, and mingling of chemical components. The ADI book Distiller's Guide to Rum suggest the greater part of 3 months for storage after bottling before selling, and we have definitely noticed a marked improvement in our spirits from the day they went in the bottle till a few months later. With that being said, does anyone have experience in the time of vatting making a real improvement? Example. If we have to release a product in 3 months, will it be more beneficial to blend and vat the barrels for 3 months, then bottle and sell immediately; blend and vat for 1 month then bottle and allow rest; or allow equal vat and bottle times? Eg. Does the best mellowing happen from blending in the steel vat or resting in a bottle? Thanks for the help!
I'm trying to figure out what makes one apple variety better for apple brandy than another. I know that calvados producers use a lot of different varieties, so there is no one absolute flavor profile. Conventional wisdom (and my personal experience) is that acidic varieties tend to produce a harsher--or shorter spirit. Other than that, I'm not sure what to look for. Calvados producers are generally also producing cider and what's great for cider might not always be the best for Calvados and it's hard to find information that makes a distinction between cider and calvados varieties. Anyone have any knowledge/experience that they are willing to share?