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Edward_call_me_Ed
05-03-2007, 07:48
Has anyone tried to 'age' commercial bourbon by any other method than rebarreling?

I have been thinking that a glass jar filled with bourbon and small pieces of charred, not toasted, oak would have a salutary effect on a young whiskey. Has anyone tried this or something similar?

One advantage of a glass jar would be that it wouldn't leak. I wouldn't have to explain a big brown stain on the floor to my wife.


Ed

Gillman
05-03-2007, 07:57
Good point Ed. If I had the right set-up at home I would buy seasoned wood planks (oak of course), cut into chunks, char them with a blowtorch (there may be other ways this could be quickly and safely done), and immerse same in young bourbon in a big glass jar or carboy.

If you used, say, the current Ancient Age white label or the white label of Heaven Hill, it would be interesting to see if further aging would occur and how long it would take.

Some people possess used bourbon barrels and I wonder if re-charring parts of those might work, although recharring does not I think achieve the same effects as a new charred oak barrel. Maybe other useful effects (in maturation) could be achieved, though.

I know some winemakers use the concept to impart some barrel character to white wines and probably other kinds.

Gary

Rughi
05-03-2007, 08:24
I have been thinking that a glass jar filled with bourbon and small pieces of charred, not toasted, oak would have a salutary effect on a young whiskey. Has anyone tried this or something similar?
Ed

This is the most common way for home winemakers to ease into winemaking without buying a barrel at first. It works...okay... you get the vanillin, tannin, and oak flavors, but none of the air/liquid interaction.

It was this type of experience that proved to me just how much of a wine's barrel character is from the controlled interplay of air breathing slowly through the barrel, not just adding wood flavor to the mix.

In the US, it's fairly easy to get white oak chips for barbecuing (or even Jack Daniel's wood chips, which I believe is nothing more or less than chunked up old barrels), these could be charred/recharred. This type of product might be available in Japan.

Roger

Gillman
05-03-2007, 08:42
That's a good point Roger.

Air definitely gets in bottles as we know from some oxidised bottles at tastings. So you could use a jug-type bottle and make a loose cork for it.

Or fashion a loose wood plug for a carboy.

Gary

kbuzbee
05-03-2007, 12:22
One advantage of a glass jar would be that it wouldn't leak. I wouldn't have to explain a big brown stain on the floor to my wife.


Ed

Rebarreling goes WAY beyond a brown stain. I kept both barrels on the 3 season porch. The Porch smelled intensly of bourbon. I didn't mind that, of course but my wife surely did. And, oddly, it seemed to promote a "moldy" kind of growth that disappeared when I bottled them.....

Ken

cowdery
05-03-2007, 13:57
The wood chips idea is an old one among moonshiners.

As for the mold, whiskey warehouses contend with that all the time. It's unsightly but otherwise harmless. Interesting that even Ken's small barrelhouse produced some.

kbuzbee
05-03-2007, 14:33
Interesting that even Ken's small barrelhouse produced some.

I would guess I saw more (relatively) than a rick house as our porch has 20+ plants growing out there too. The constant source of moisture probably made the situation worse.... And when I say it disappeared..... Well......:grin: What I should have said is once I scrubbed and scrubbed and SCRUBBED (it was on EVERYTHING, especially the plant soil) it didn't come back _after_ I dumped the barrels.....

Ken