Molecule of the Week

Whiskey Lactone

September 27, 2010

All four stereoisomers of whiskey lactone, or β-methyl-γ-octalactone, are found in nature—specifically, in oak wood used to make barrels for aging whiskeys, wines, and brandies. The (+)-trans isomer is shown. Recently, whiskey lactone was identified as the source of coconut-like odors in grape-based brandies such as Cognac and Armagnac.

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