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The Eaux de Vie & Waters of Life: Cognac, Brandy & French Oak Barrels

bigstock Cognac 5875794 300x198 The Eaux de Vie & Waters of Life: Cognac, Brandy & French Oak BarrelsDouble Distilled White Wine Brandy Becomes Mixed, then Aged into Cognac 

By Matt Goldstein

Some Cognacs have up to 50 different types of eaux de vie, or waters of life.  The eaux de vie are white wine grapes that are harvested, crushed, fermented, and then distilled.  After the double distillation process in copper stills, a single eau de vie is clear and colorless.  This clear and colorless eau de vie is then mixed with sometimes 20 to 50 other different kinds of eaux de vie and aged in French Oak barrels for at least 2 years.  Prior to their use, these French Oak Barrels were glazed over a fire for color and flavor.  The clear eaux de vie then gets its light brown color and flavor while aging in the fire glazed French Oak.  All Cognacs must be aged in French Oak with eaux de vie from the Cognac region. 

Source:  Years of Reading Cognac Bottles.

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