Changes in Tennessee Whiskey Odorants by the Lincoln County Process
Authentic freshly distilled Tennessee whiskey is filtered through maple charcoal in a processing step known as the Lincoln County Process (LCP). Changes in odorants resulting from the LCP were characterized by a comparative aroma extract dilution analysis (cAEDA), quantitated by stable isotope dilution assays (SIDA), and odor activity values (OAVs) were calculated. Sensory evaluation showed a decrease in malty, rancid, fatty, and roasty aroma attributes of the distillate after LCP treatment. Forty-nine odorants were identified, nine of which have not been previously reported in the whiskey distillate literature. Thirty-one odorants were quantitated, all showing a decrease in concentration as a result of LCP treatment. Odorants, including (2E,4E)-nona-2,4-dienal (fatty), 3-methylbutanoic acid (rancid), 2′-aminoacetophenone (foxy), and 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (roasty), dropped below detection thresholds (OAV < 1) following LCP treatment. Concentrations of lipid-derived aldehydes, organic acids, and other odorants decreased between 13 and >99%. The present investigation lays the groundwork for future studies aimed at flavor optimization for Tennessee whiskey production.