View Full Version : Not sure if this is vatting

05-27-2008, 08:27
Hi I'm new to this site and had a question about "vatting", I think.

I understand that bourbon doesn't mature in the bottle but it does mature in charred oak barrels.

I was considering buying a 1 gallon small charred oak barrel from a place down in Kentucky. They say its the same kinda barrels used for bourbon but smaller.

If I get the barrel and fill it with some of my favorite bourbons, what will happen to it if I leave it locked away in a safe place for a few years?

What happens to bourbon as it sits in the charred oak barrel? Does it gain in potency?


What about a single gallon barrel with a serving spout to house a nice mixture of my favorite bourbons and periodically adding bits of ones I like to it over the years.
With this idea I was worried about air.
I figure the repeated opening and closing to add other brands, along with the barrel never being totally full might negatively effect it.

05-27-2008, 09:01
Your describing re-barreling, this will not do any harm, in fact in some cases it can help a bourbon.
In the second part your describing a living barrel. This can provide some interesting results, add some in and take some out.
I dont have much experience with the process but I've tasted the results of a re-barrel and the results failed to suck.

What is this barrel source of yours?


05-27-2008, 20:49
Well the place that sells the barrels is http://www.kentuckybarrels.com/

When you say it failed to suck do you mean it was just barely good would have been better if it wasn't in the barrel?

Was thinking about re-barreling some old rip van winkle 10 year 107 proof maybe mixed a little bit with something else

05-28-2008, 03:46
Thanks for the link, lots of neat ideas.

Quite the opposite it was very good!


05-28-2008, 07:17
Was thinking about re-barreling some old rip van winkle 10 year 107 proof maybe mixed a little bit with something else

I would seriously reconsider that idea. If Julian VanWinkle says that bourbon is at it's peak....then the chance that you will make it better is very small. I would think that Rebel Yell would offer more of a chance to improve by a larger degree with some additional time within a barrel. Try an inexpensive label first....sip on some Pappy while you watch it age.

Have you read Dougdogs thread on rebarreling...very helpful!

Good luck and keep us informed.

05-28-2008, 09:13
you make a very good point, I read that pre coffie this morning and missed the part about using the Vanwinkle.
Dougs is the rebarrel that I have tasted and it was very good, I am new here and didnt read his post yet but I am quite sure it is some great advise.


05-28-2008, 09:29
Re-barreling is something I'm really interested in trying myself one of these days. Please keep us posted on what you decide and how it works out for you.

05-28-2008, 10:19
Just remember that the smaller the barrel the faster it will "age" or, give off wood/oak qualities into the spirit.

Roger (Rughi), is currently rebarreling a young Willett in a barrel (larger than I have ever worked with). He first conditioned the barrel with bottom shelf ND bourbons (to take out some of that raw wood quality). If I rebarrel again, I will probably do the same. You'd be using a "used" barrel, yet it won't be anywhere near spent.

Hope this helps. Let us know what you do, it was a fun experiment when I did it!

Rebel Yell sounds like a good candidate for a second (or first) fill, although I would try for a higher proof 90-100--but then you'd be looking at higher expense. I'd rebarrel a wheated bourbon if I did it again.