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Research projects

The Unique Properties of Swedish Oak, a Resource for Wine and Whisky Production

About this project

Project information

Project status



Åsa Öström

Research subject

Oak is the main material for making wooden barrels used for maturation of wines and spirits. Oak contributes to the
characteristics of the alcoholic beverages stored in it. Oak may contain more than 400 different solid, volatile and less volatile compounds including acids, sugars, steroids, terpens, volatile phenols, lactones. All of which can be transferred to wine and whiskey to give their unique taste and bouquet.
The overall objective of the project is to characterize the unique influence of Swedish Oak on the taste and bouquet of wine and whisky. This objective will be achieved by studying the characteristics of Swedish oak, and comparison of its quality and properties with American white oak and French oak. The degree of toasting and how this affects the different oaks and the wines and spirits will be a part of the study. Further to establish the effect of the size of the barrel to the beverage and its maturation and final to study the influence of the storage time on the extraction of solids and maturation of beverages using oak of different origin.
The project is divided in four tasks which are organised in activities. The first three activity or WPs are focussed on the barrel production, the storage and the chemical and sensory analysis. The fourth task is aimed at the dissimilation of the knowledge gained to through the scientific literature, teaching at master and undergraduate levels and popular scientific presentations and tastings.


Research funding bodies

  • The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research


  • Sirje Thorslund, Thorslunds Kagge AB