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  1. #1
    Novice
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    1

    Learning to Age and Flavor Whiskey

    Hello All,

    I've always been fascinated with the process of aging and flavoring whiskey and would love to learn and experiment with it on my own.

    Since it's illegal to run my own still to produce the alcohol needed to turn into aged whiskey, I'm wondering if anyone can point me into a direction where I can get un-aged whiskey (or something similar to it)?

    Would something like corn vodka work fairly well?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Cheers,

    -jim

  2. #2
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Chicago
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    1,996

    Re: Learning to Age and Flavor Whiskey

    Welcome to the board Jim. Thanks to all the new micro's that have opened, there are plenty un-aged spirits showing up. I've been playing with the Wasmunds set up. He just released 2 spirits and a mini-barrel. Plenty of barrel options out there. I found that the smaller barrels really increased the aging process. My first batch took about a week to hit its peak. Now on batch 2 and roughly 3 weeks in. I'm sure plenty others know more than me on this subject. I've been thinking about maybe aging some wine or rum, then filling with a bourbon or malt. Also , we just aged some 6yr old Caol Ila in a mini-barrel, and I can tell you that it is aging nicely. Best of luck. It sure is fun aging at home.

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
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    12,607

    Re: Learning to Age and Flavor Whiskey

    It has come up here on the board that Buffalo Trace sells its white dog (unaged whiskey), but only in Kentucky, I believe.

    Corn whiskey would be better than any vodka, if that's the way you have to go.

    You also don't have to start at the beginning. Buy young bourbon and barrel it again. I recommend something like Wild Turkey 101, or a BIB, because of the higher proof.

    A good way to do this would be to resolve to buy a new barrel (I recommend 10 gallon) at some interval, i.e., one a year, one every six months, that sort of thing. Lay down a different experiment in each.

    You need a place to put them, of course. A basement would likely be easiest, but much better would be a backyard shed.
    Last edited by cowdery; 07-07-2009 at 19:07.

  4. #4
    Moderator
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    Jul 2008
    Location
    SW Iowa
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    3,040

    Re: Learning to Age and Flavor Whiskey

    I wouldn't think a basement would work not enough heat and not enough temperature variation. A back yard shed would work, the rafters in your garage would work the best especially if it's not heated.
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider, is chaos for the fly.

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2006
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Rockland County, NY
    Posts
    1,937

    Re: Learning to Age and Flavor Whiskey

    With smaller barrels, the seasonal variation is less critical than the daily or monthly variations. At my recent visit to Tuthilltown, the small barrels are stacked on end right in the "gift shop", which is heated in the winter. The surface area to volume ratio in small barrels reduces the time needed for wood influence and therefore shortens the total aging time needed.

    Attic, basement rotation during a summer should at least get you in shape.
    Colonel Ed
    Bourbonian of the Year 2006

    Comissioned by Paul Patton, 1999

    "It ain't the booze that brings me in here, it's the solace it distills"

 

 

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