Otto Hermelin, Associate Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Stockholm, is visiting us again at the moment as he continues his research into the effects of temperature, humidity and storage location on the maturation of single malt whisky. He has ten sensors recording data every hour of every day. The study is expected to last for at least ten years, and has now been running for around 18 months.
It is an interesting time to visit because we are currently experiencing the coldest temperatures of the 2012/13 winter. It is also interesting to note that the humidity is also at its lowest level in a year at the moment. Using a mass spectrometer at the University, Otto monitors the changes in concentrations of substances such as esters over time and correlates these changes to the different conditions experienced by different casks located at various points in the warehouse.
The yellow plot on the graph shows humidity while the lower red plot follows the temperature fluctuations. Incidentally, the warmest day recorded during the whole of 2012 was Sunday 27 May which was – you have guessed it, Bruichladdich Day at Feis Ile….