View Full Version : Maintaining aged stocks

06-05-2009, 14:29
I have always been interested in knowing how a distillery (rum or bourbon) maintains aged stock.

Does the distillery use a specific mathematical/economic formula or is it somewhat of a guestimate?

06-06-2009, 10:04
Elaborate, because I can't tell what you're asking.

06-06-2009, 10:49
I believe that the answer that you are looking for is:

They put up as much in advance as they expect to sell in x number of years based on projected increases/decreases in sales volume.

06-06-2009, 17:44
Elaborate, because I can't tell what you're asking.

Sorry about the vagueness. Barturtle has answered my question in general terms.

I was wondering how a distillery determines how much stock they would have to put away to age to meet future demands. So for example if BT wanted to introduce a new 15 year bourbon; how much distillate would have to be put away? 200,000 gallons? 300,000?

Once that initial amount was determined, how do they then maintain the levels of aged stock?

06-07-2009, 16:23
There isn't much to add to what Barturtle said. The projections include standard factors for evaporation, proof changes and everything else, and they give themselves a wide margin for error. They periodically check representative barrels to see how they're aging. They periodically make adjustments. They are always evaluating what they have and what they expect to need, making adjustments accordingly.

Sometimes they guess wrong.

Different distillers have different goals. Maker's Mark wants every barrel to be as close to every other barrel as possible, and all maturing in the same way at the same time. So do Beam and Daniel's, for the most part, which is why Beam barrels-to-brand with the Small Batch collection. Even with Beam Black and the SBBC, the percentage of their barrels that age more than four years is tiny.

With most of the others, they can use whiskey at just about every age, although there is probably no distillery where the average age of their whiskey when bottled is more than six years.