an essential mellowing process common to most alcoholic beverages. Spirits such as whiskey and brandy are aged in wooden barrels or tuns. The wood plays a vital part in the mellowing as well as in the coloring of the spirits. In the United States, Federal law specifies that domestic whiskey (except corn whiskey) must be aged in new charred oak barrels. Wines normally start their aging in wood, but unlike spirits, they continue to age and improve after bottling.
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