Etosha is a hardwood from Namibia, it is an invader species there and is hence used widely as barbeque charcoal throughout Southern Africa. Its smoke has an amazing scent and aroma to it.

I saw this recipe video for Whiskey and was wondering if you could substitute the oak with another charcoal that is fit for cooking food. I don't know if there is something that may make a charcoal fit for cooking food, but unfit to mellow whiskey with.

If you can imbue whiskey with the taste of the Etosha wood's smoke then it would probably be tremendous!

Here is the video

1 Answer 1


You don't use charcoal for this. There are actually two different steps.

In the first step, you could use charcoal to smoke your malt, make a mash from this malt, ferment it and then distil it. And after distillation you would age the whiskey in barrels.

What this video shows is actually to replace the ageing in barrels, with ageing already made whiskey over dried and charred oak (or other wood chips).

So if you can get Etosha wood in chips which are NOT charcoal, you can try this, replacing the oak with Etosha, and using your favorite/cheap whiskey to test this out.

  • 1
    Ok, so I just use the hardwood and not charcoal.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Jul 30, 2021 at 17:43

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