Charring an oak barrel is a complex reaction that happens very quickly. Char also absorbs "cereal-like" flavors from the spirit created during fermentation and distillation. Choosing the best char level for your spirit depends on the desired final spirit and length of maturation.
THE COOPER'S SELECT
This option moderately toasts the barrel before it is charred, deepening
the red layer, thereby increasing the flavor extractives of each barrel
and enhancing the complexity of barrel aged spirits.
THE COOPER'S RESERVE
HEAVY TOAST–LIGHT CHAR FINISH
This barrel is slow toasted over an oak fire for 30 minutes
before catching on fire to create a light char level on the
surface. This toast requires longer aging to maximize flavor
production and complexity.
THE CRAFT DISTILLER'S #5 CHAR
This is a very dark char, designed to provide more extractives for the spirit while providing a unique flavor profile.
TRADITIONAL CHAR LEVELS #1 - #4
Lighter char levels tend to show more fruit esters and spice notes.
Darker char levels will extract more vanilla flavors and color
into the spirit.
Char #1 Char #2 Char #3 Char #4