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View Full Version : Help on choosing a Bourbon to Re-Barrel



BarItemsPlus1
12-08-2005, 23:24
I am in the process of getting my new 2L American Oak barrel(I retail them) curred and ready to take a filling of Bourbon.
I would like to hear peoples thoughts on what bourbon I should use first. I am hoping that on each fill the barrel will not only transfer the characteristics from the wood but the previous bourbon used, so I would like to use a fairly 'strong' product first.

I have just emptied a bottle a Scotch into another barrel for the same purpose, I used a bottle of Glenfiddich 21yr old Gran Reserva
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
Troy.

chasking
12-09-2005, 09:41
I have just emptied a bottle a Scotch into another barrel for the same purpose, I used a bottle of Glenfiddich 21yr old Gran Reserva
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif



Yeah, you know, I've often thought that all that 21yo Glenfiddich needed to make it a really great dram was a little more time in the wood. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/stickpoke.gif

Why'd you pick that one?

barturtle
12-09-2005, 09:45
I just screamed in horror.

kbuzbee
12-09-2005, 10:25
I just screamed in horror.



Me too! Yikes.

Although it's already a very good Bourbon I want to try regular Wild Turkey 101. Visions of Tribute are dancing in my head. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif We'll see.

I would suggest Maker's Mark would be a good choice. It seems to need more time. Doug's project with Ancient Age is, of course a great choice.

Ken

clayton
12-09-2005, 10:56
Are you charring the barrels or leaving them unburned?

kbuzbee
12-09-2005, 11:26
Wouldn't you think they should be charred?? I would.

Ken

dougdog
12-09-2005, 12:49
Wouldn't ya put scotch in a new barrel to "set it up" for more scotch? I don't understand why you would put scotch in a new barrel to set it up for bourbon...I could understand using bourbon to set up scotch, or some sherry to set up for the scotch...You got some xplainin' to do Troy!

curious dougdog...

(BTW my ultimate goal with my bourbon re-barrel project is to age scotch when the last round of bourbon has peaked and the barrel is ready to give to the scotch....yea, you could say that my little barrels are slated for much longer use that just the bourbon project...I'm thinkin' way past that)

BarItemsPlus1
12-09-2005, 13:06
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Gee have I created a topic here....
Dougdog I have two barrels
-one for Scotch(which has the first bottle in it)
-one for Bourbon



BTW my ultimate goal with my bourbon re-barrel project is to age scotch when the last round of bourbon has peaked and the barrel is ready to give to the scotch....


This is what I am planning also....
Once the barrels have finished their re-ageing, well then I am thinking about swaping the barrels around - fill the Scotch barrel with Bourbon and so on....

Now I must point out that I don't make these barrels myself, I simply buy them from a distributer and retail them. I must also point out that these barrels have been charred, which I was totally suprised at as I really didn't think that the manufacturers would go to that length with only such small size barrels.

Wow guys I really didn't expect to get such a response from this topic http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
Why is every one so shocked at my emptying of the Scotch into my first barrel....
I would have expected many more people to have already done this http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/skep.gif
Great to read everyones thoughts though on this subject http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/coffeedrinker.gif
Troy.

BarItemsPlus1
12-09-2005, 13:10
They are charred Ken...I have posted a new reply in this topic this morning...check it out.
Cheers http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
Troy.

BarItemsPlus1
12-09-2005, 13:15
The reason I chose the Gran Reserva was for a few reasons...
-Low Cost(because I am a whisky retailer)
-I am hoping that the characteristics from the rum will impart itself into the wood.
Once I have finished re-ageing the Scotch I will be putting probably a bourbon in the next fill.
Check out the new post I put up earlier http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Cheers http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
Troy @ Bar Items Plus, Australia.

dougdog
12-09-2005, 13:22
Why is every one so shocked at my emptying of the Scotch into my first barrel....?



I'll guess that was because you asked for advice on what bourbon to buy?????? With no mention of a scotch project????

Just a guess...

Second guess is that I would probably pick a lower price point "barrel conditioner". (Not GF 21yo) Aren't there better choices for barrel conditioners that would be less expensive and hold a higher prospectus for re-aging?

Still curious...dougdog

BarItemsPlus1
12-09-2005, 13:23
Thanks Ken...I had not even thought about Maker's - this could be a very viable option.
Unfortunately I haven't had the pleasure in sampling the WT Tribute but I can imagine this would have been a great tasting bourbon?? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif
I just had a thought, I have been working on a special little collection that I will be selling at a later stage, I will post a pic up on under my post on collectible bottles, check it out I think you may be just a little impressed. I have brass plates to go the front also.
Cheers Ken http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
Troy @ Bar Items Plus.

barturtle
12-09-2005, 14:28
Okay, now that I've recovered from the shock and horror of your scotch abuse, I have a suggestion or two for bourbons to reage. I think that Old Grand Dad bond would be a great choice as would Weller Antique. Both give you high proof young whiskies with a respectable starting flavor profile. Since you are using a small barrel either will be quite affordable.

One thing to watch out for: that small barrel gives a high surface to volume ratio that may accelerate the results.

BarItemsPlus1
12-09-2005, 15:06
Scotch Abuse???? Oh NO Timothy, let me just say this....
Many Scotches are taken from one barrel then finished in another, just one example Balenvie 12yr old Double Wood(I use this example as it is quite a common whisky easy to find) - In my opinion I am doing nothing more than taking a more professional approach to my whisky experiences http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clever.gif

Thanks for the advice on the bourbon to use aswell, I will order some of this in and use that. I must admit I am still quite a novice when it comes to bourbon and I have yet to sample many more different bourbons http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drinking.gif
I haven't had Old Grand Dad in any of the variations so I will sample this as soon as I can.

It looks like I may have to get some more barrels.... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Troy.

BarItemsPlus1
12-09-2005, 15:13
I forgot to mention... yes I am well aware of

One thing to watch out for: that small barrel gives a high surface to volume ratio that may accelerate the results.



Again I must make mention of Scotch...Laphroaig have a release of a quarter cask.

BarItemsPlus1
12-09-2005, 15:23
'll guess that was because you asked for advice on what bourbon to buy?????? With no mention of a scotch project???

my apologies on that...I have posted a new message relating to both of my projects now http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif



Second guess is that I would probably pick a lower price point "barrel conditioner". (Not GF 21yo) Aren't there better choices for barrel conditioners that would be less expensive and hold a higher prospectus for re-aging?

My thoughts are not about price at all but seeing what the finished product is going to be like....
I don't want to be patronising here...but there is some really expensive Scotch out there as you well may know, yet people still drink it??
I do understand that money obviously plays a big part in what people are able to sample... for instance I know I can afford to finish a bottle of 30yr old Glenfiddich to myself in one night and it would not bother my wallet at all(mainly cause I wouldn't drink another bottle for about 30yrs http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif), so on saying that I obviously would get an even bigger response if I was to say empty that 30yr old into a barrel for re-ageing.

Can you see my point....In using the 21yr old I am in fact almost creating a say 25-28 yr old so I have indeed saved some $$$ http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

barturtle
12-09-2005, 15:31
Oh, the scotch abuse I refer to was taking a whisky that I thought was pretty much perfect for its style and putting that at risk.

Oh, yes I realize that there are some smaller barrels that are being used in other distilling industries however a quarter cask will still have about a 13 gallon capacity or about 32x the volume of the 2L cask you're using. Not sure of the exact surface to volume of either cask but yours will definitely be higher. I'm basically just saying to keep an eye on it.

Best of luck.

BarItemsPlus1
12-09-2005, 16:00
the scotch abuse I refer to was taking a whisky that I thought was pretty much perfect for its style and putting that at risk

yep I am aware that I could very well ruin the whisky but if I keep my eye on it as you have noted, then I will be ok.
I haven't gone into this blind eyed Tim, I have done my research and I'm not a complete beginner with whisky but the more experience I gain from doing different things is invaluble...

I tell you what mate, if you send me your address I will send you a sample when it is finished and re-bottled. If you trust me http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/skep.gif
I did also want to point out that I had given thought to putting some port in the barrel(for conditioning) to start with, but I have decided that I will use this when I empty the Scotch. I will try and find something to use when I empty the bourbon barrel too...I may fill it with Rum??
I should point out that I do understand what you were saying about using the 21yr old as a conditioner but that is exactly my purpose for using that whisky, I want to have just the pure oak flavours to start with, I can sort of remember what the whisky is like out of the bottle.
Cheers http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
Troy.

Gillman
12-09-2005, 16:28
Yes but the small ("quarter") cask is a finishing cask, in effect. The label speaks of double-casking, so the small cask is intended, I infer, to confer an additional quality in a short time.

Gary

BarItemsPlus1
12-09-2005, 17:10
Gary that is quite correct...as most of us all know that the smaller the cask, the more surface area for the whisky to come into contact with and so quite obviously less time is need for maturing....
Hence that is specifically why I went with the 21yr old in the 2L barrel - I have no idea on what the reference would be for maruring in the 2L barrel but I would sort of predict that 1 week would be equivelant to say close to a year in a normal 200L cask or there abouts...give or take a few months
Any good mathematitions here http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif

barturtle
12-09-2005, 22:34
I will send you a sample when it is finished and re-bottled.



I totally support samples, however, I think that many of us are interested in these rebarreling projects that are going on and those doing them should, if they can make it, bring their samples-along with a bottle of what they started with, to the KBF in Sept. Then we can all see how these are working, as I'm sure that more than one of us is waiting to see some results before we take the plunge ourselves.

As far as the finishing with other spirits, while I've seen great success in this domain with scotch, I've been less than thrilled with the results I've seen in bourbon so far. It may be that they didn't use a bourbon that could handle the finish or that they were mismatched-I've had Port, Cognac, and Mesquite finishes. However I would be interested to see more as I think this could work, I just haven't had one yet that did. I would like to see one done with calvados, for some reason this just works in my head(though it may be horrible) but I see it either as a very short term finish or an extremely long term finish, the middle ground (which is what I expect I've tasted so far) just doesn't seem to work.

Either way best of luck and I hope you can make it to KY for the Fest with samples of your results. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drinking.gif

BarItemsPlus1
12-09-2005, 23:03
Timothy I may be able to do just that and bring some samples over.
Regarding the finish on bourbon....I believe it all has to do with the grain used - in other words ingredients have to compliment each other...eg. Sweet/Sour
I find scotch has more of, for want of a better word, a sour taste to start so complimenting with the sweetness of the grape makes for an excellent whisky.
So I am thinking to compliment bourbon I would need something like...a white rum or possibly Tequila(yes-that could be the go)...see where I'm going??
I will let you know when I get to doing that project, Cheers Tim http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif
Troy.

Gillman
12-10-2005, 03:17
Certainly it is an interesting idea to re-cask whisky of already prolonged age. As you said, you can give it a port finish or another quality. Just recently I sampled Lagavulin 16 years old, this is the regular one, not the Distiller's Edition, but even the regular one shows some evidence of aging (at least for a time) in sherry casks. It may be interesting to impart that kind of, or another, winy taste to a 21 year old whisky. Imparting a flavour derived from sherry, rum, port or of course bourbon to a whisky (of whatever age) that might benefit from same makes sense and I gather this is what you are planning. Some kegs in the past were small, e.g., Boston Brands was a well-known line of whiskeys and cordials in America. They had a blended whiskey that showed a picture of a small keg lashed to the underside of a rocking chair. The chair-rocking idea was an old one taken from the experience of seeing whiskey and other liquors improved by transport in the holds of clippers. If you have a rocking chair, use of it in this way would hasten the aging but this probably would be better with a young whiskey.

To answer your original question, I'd probably use something like Jack Daniels or Maker's Mark. Both would I think benefit from an extra year or two aging if not more. Maybe 6 months in such a keg, rocked or not, would equal 3 years of aging. We need the engineers to help us here. It may be better if the whiskey you put in was higher than 40% abv (Maker's is 45%) but I don't think it matters over a relatively short period. The U.S. rules on entry prescribe a top limit, not a bottom one...

So, you've made a good point: small re-aging kegs have dual capability: they can be used both to "finish" (and, I would add, marry a blend of) whiskies, and improve a young whisky by making it more mature.

Gary

BarItemsPlus1
12-29-2005, 06:41
Just an update on the barrel re-filling....
Filled the 2L barrel(23-12-05) with port to 'condition' it ready for the filling of bourbon in around 6 months.....
This is the port I used....700ml of the first and the balance fill with the second port