View Full Version : Scotch Re-Barreling

12-27-2006, 20:25
Today I picked up a case of Finlagin "blue label" at Trader Joe's.

I combined 6, 750ml bottles of said Finlagin along with 1.75 liters of 191 proof Everclear to boost the overall proof. All this was put in a 2 gallon, toasted barrel for ageing. The barrel I used this time was the one previously used for the Rum re-barrel project a while back.

The 500ml bottle sitting on the counter was the remaining rum that was left in the barrel after dumping that same bottle in there 2-3 weeks ago...you can see how much the angels took in just a short time. Greedy suckers!

Rumor has it that Finlagin in the blue label bottle is from the Caol Ila Distillery.

12-27-2006, 22:45
I don't know Finlagin. Is that a single malt? Blend? Vatted Malt?


12-28-2006, 00:34
Interesting Doug,

I would have never thought of diluting the whisky that much, though some quick math turns up only about a final proof of 120, the mix is over 50% GNS, this seems like it may dilute the initial flavor quite a bit (though this may be the desired result).

Another thought: how much time was there between dumping the barrel and refilling? I think normal practice would allow for at least a partial drying time before refilling, even if it's just for shipping purposes. This seems like it would allow the flavor more to come from the way the rum would have affected the wood and less from remaining liquid spirit.

The interesting thing here will be to try the newly aged whiskey side by side with the origianl botting and with the rum to see how the rum affected the scotch (and maybe even more interesting will be to take the original botting of scotch and add the GNS and the rum to simulate an unaged product to see how the aging really afects the final product)

Can't wait to hear how it goes.

12-28-2006, 07:28
Doug's case states single malt.

This is an interesting experiment. The cask is seasoned from rum and any tannic or raw elements in it should have been removed (or many of them) by the rum. Not seasoning the cask will allow more rum flavor to get through.

Using that amount of GNS will likely make the drink into the style of a blend. Most blends have between 60%-50% grain whisky. True, the GNS won't have aged as long as the malt, but I don't think that matters much. The GNS will display and soften the Islay malt (probably it is a younger malt from Lagavulin or one of the other island distilleries).

The result probably will be very good in a year or two but maybe even in 6 months.


12-28-2006, 09:15
According to this website, Finlaggen is a young Lagavulin.


12-28-2006, 12:19
According to this website, Finlaggen is a young Lagavulin.


When the bottle was green (until a year or two ago), as shown on the website, it did taste of Lagavulin. Lagavulin has had a serious whisky shortage recently, and the green bottle product was _very_ different from the current blue bottle.

The aroma and taste of the blue bottle reeks of Caol Ila to me, but my taste buds don't get Lagavulin at all. My guess is they changed bottle color to help customers not be confused about the whisky they're buying.

What do your tastebuds tell you?


12-30-2006, 17:53
According to this website, Finlaggen is a young Lagavulin.


Exactly!....That's the "Green Label" shown in the picture, no longer available here...it is young Lag as described...the bottles in my experiment are the "Blue Label" version...In this case, the label change was consistent with the contents. Stop by some time and we can put them in a head to head tasting...that will clearly demonstrate the difference!

Moving along....

Although the GNS content is rather lopsided right now, the barel will be topped off with more Finlagin as time goes by.

In my taste tests prior to barreling, 1 to 1 was too strong with GNS, 2 to 1 up to 3 to 1 was a pretty good range. Over 3 to 1 the proof wasn't strong enough for the "entry proof" IMHO and the whisky was not lively.

For the record, the 1 to 1 ratio did not suggest that there was any lack of flavor, one of the reasons I chose the "Islay" malt as the target.

01-01-2007, 19:09
I don't know Finlagin. Is that a single malt? Blend? Vatted Malt?


Sorry Ed!

I did not mention that the Finlagin was a Single Malt...my bad!

As Gary mentioned, it is now a blend, of sorts, probably not meeting the exact requierments/traditions of either Scotland or the US.

I'm looking forward to the flavors that will develope from two or three angles.

First, the ageing of the GNS and it's contribution, if any, to the flavor of the Scotch. (although it sweetened it slightly, there was not a lot of impact other than the boost in ABV)

Second, the influence of the Rum...

Third, the addition of the vanilla and caramel notes that the barrel will contribute...

01-02-2007, 02:44
Thanks Doug!


Ps. You know, I could have just looked more closely at the pics you posted. They are clear enough to read. So, looks like it is My bad...