Special Issue "Wood and Flavor"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Wood Science and Forest Products".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ignacio J. Diaz-Maroto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agroforestry Engineering, University of Santiago de Compostela, Campus Terra s/n, E-27002 Lugo, Spain
Interests: forest management; landscape ecology; natural protected areas; planning and rural development; wood technology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Most people do not know that wood is an important flavor source for certain beverages, but wine producers, enologists, and other professionals do not dispute the importance of wood in the final flavor of aged wines and some spirits. Wood has a much greater influence over our taste and palate than we imagine. What does wood taste like, then? How has it been used in the distillation and/or fermentation of different natural products, or even in the creation of perfumes, to produce a unique flavor and aroma? Upon discovering wood gives flavor to some beverages, its use spread all over the world, to Irish whiskey distillers, Bavarian brewers, cutting-edge tea merchants in London, Indian tea exporters, and winemakers from different countries, among others.

Thus, what is the difference between vodka and other spirits? While traditional vodka is prized for its clean taste through the extensive use of filtration and distillation, spirits like bourbon or cognac have a characteristic complexity in their flavor; between 60% and 70% of this complexity is derived from prolonged storage in barrels. From cutting the wood for the barrels to the final product, the process can take decades and involves a large number of complex chemical changes. Before storing the beverage in the barrel, we have to build it. For this, the choice of wood is essential; the vast majority of aging takes place in oak barrels. However, even here there are large differences between Quercus alba L. (white oak) and Quercus robur L. (common oak), the twospecies predominantly used. On the one hand, higher wood density (white oak is denser than common oak) means less leakage and evaporation, but it also leads to slower aging of beverages in white oak barrels. On the other hand, Quercus robur has more tannins (most noticeably gallic acid) and volatile spicy compounds than Quercus alba, whereas white oak gives considerably higher levels of oak lactones (ultimately yielding a coconut note to the flavor of the spirit) and vanillin. Hybrid barrels, made from different types of wood, are enabling interesting flavor combinations. The Indian single malt whiskey Amrut Spectrum is matured in barrels made from American, Spanish, and French oak as well as ex-Pedro-Ximenez- and ex-Olorosso-Sherry barrels. Moreover, with the Private Select from Maker’s Mark, customers can even select among 1001 possible stave combinations, made from five different types of wood.

The aim and scope of the Special Issue on Wood and Flavor are to provide a forum for the exchange of information on new and significant research in viticulture, enology, and related fields, in particular, on the influence of wood in the flavor of certain beverages around the world. This includes research or technical papers presenting new and topical information in viticulture, enology, and the related fields. Additionally, review articles are encouraged, as they provide excellent summaries of the research areas to our research and practitioner readers.

Dr. Ignacio J. Diaz-Maroto
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Trees and wood
  • Wood taste
  • Wood aroma
  • Quercus spp.

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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