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  1. #1
    Disciple
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    Jun 2010
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    Northern Indiana
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    Overaged Bourbon

    As I'm starting to play around with aging my own whiskeys, I'm reading a lot of warnings about over-aging bourbon due to the high surface area / volume ratio of small barrels. While this makes perfect sense, it occured to me that I'm not sure I've ever sampled a whiskey that I thought was in the barrel for too long. In fact, the BTEC double barrel trials may be the best whiskey I've ever tasted, and I've heard others refer to those as "drinking oak".

    Granted, no one intentionally over-ages anything, as it would add expense, and reduce output in addition to being an inferior quality. However, I'm haven't convinced myself that a bourbon can taste over-aged.

    I don't want to lose a super-majority of the liquid to the angels, but I think I'm going to want to keep aging the juice as long as I can. I will do periodic tasting and will keep some small samples, so I will eventually run out regardless.

    The reason for my post is that I would like a list of bourbons that others might consider "overaged". I'd like to try those as I start to play to see if I come to the same conclusions.

  2. #2
    Guru
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    Dec 2004
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    Northern Kentucky
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    3,417

    Re: Overaged Bourbon

    If its MM, they (MM) would say anything more than around five years.
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  3. #3
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee
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    1,364

    Re: Overaged Bourbon

    Some I have seen described as overaged more than a few times;

    Pappy 23
    Vintage 23 Rye
    Pichard's Double Barrel
    Elija Craig 18
    Black Maple Hill 21
    Evan Willams 23
    Hirsch 21 Rye
    Michters Single Barrel 10yr
    Some Willett single barrel picks that are 16 and older.
    Noah's Mill
    I'm sure there qre some I forgotten.

    Not everyone agrees of course. In fact a few of those are on my favorites list.

  4. #4
    Connoisseur
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    Aug 2009
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    Manheim, PA 17545
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    757

    Re: Overaged Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by Bourbon Boiler View Post
    As I'm starting to play around with aging my own whiskeys, I'm reading a lot of warnings about over-aging bourbon due to the high surface area / volume ratio of small barrels. While this makes perfect sense, it occured to me that I'm not sure I've ever sampled a whiskey that I thought was in the barrel for too long. In fact, the BTEC double barrel trials may be the best whiskey I've ever tasted, and I've heard others refer to those as "drinking oak".

    Granted, no one intentionally over-ages anything, as it would add expense, and reduce output in addition to being an inferior quality. However, I'm haven't convinced myself that a bourbon can taste over-aged.

    I don't want to lose a super-majority of the liquid to the angels, but I think I'm going to want to keep aging the juice as long as I can. I will do periodic tasting and will keep some small samples, so I will eventually run out regardless.

    The reason for my post is that I would like a list of bourbons that others might consider "overaged". I'd like to try those as I start to play to see if I come to the same conclusions.

    Where are you buying your barrels to age your whiskey? I'm going to start doing this and I need a good supplier of non-varnished barrels.
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  5. #5
    Disciple
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    Jun 2010
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    Northern Indiana
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    1,661

    Re: Overaged Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by ethangsmith View Post
    Where are you buying your barrels to age your whiskey? I'm going to start doing this and I need a good supplier of non-varnished barrels.
    I have a few inquiries out there. I'm actually buying a couple for a friend as well, and trying to negotiate better deals than listed prices, or at a minimum better than standard shipping costs. I'll keep you posted.

  6. #6
    Disciple
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    Re: Overaged Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by ethangsmith View Post
    Where are you buying your barrels to age your whiskey? I'm going to start doing this and I need a good supplier of non-varnished barrels.
    I'm also open to recomendations from other SBers as well.

  7. #7
    Moderator
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    Jul 2008
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    SW Iowa
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    3,009

    Re: Overaged Bourbon

    This is where my wife got the one she gave me for my birthday last year. I don't know if the prices are competitive or not.

    http://www.oakbarrelsltd.com/
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider, is chaos for the fly.

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Louisville, Ky.
    Posts
    718

    Re: Overaged Bourbon

    I am not a big fan of small barrel aging. You get a lot of tannins from the wood, but not a lot of the nice caramel and vanilla flavors you get from a full sized barrel. I believe, but I am not sure because I have never seen a used stave from a small barrel, that the red layer is also much smaller in the small staves and as a result there is not as much caramel and vanilla flavor in the wood. Has anybody taken a small barrel apart to look at the red Layer?

    Mike Veach

  9. #9
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sutton, Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,175

    Re: Overaged Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by p_elliott View Post
    This is where my wife got the one she gave me for my birthday last year. I don't know if the prices are competitive or not.

    http://www.oakbarrelsltd.com/
    I make wine at home and am familiar with the various toast levels used for wine barrels (medium, medium+, heavy). Are these equivalent to whiskey barrel char levels (say, #2, 3, and 4), or are "char" levels heavier than what one sees for wine aging?
    Mark

  10. #10
    Disciple
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    Apr 2010
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    Wisconsin
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    Re: Overaged Bourbon

    Quote Originally Posted by sutton View Post
    I make wine at home and am familiar with the various toast levels used for wine barrels (medium, medium+, heavy). Are these equivalent to whiskey barrel char levels (say, #2, 3, and 4), or are "char" levels heavier than what one sees for wine aging?
    I could be wrong, but it's my understanding that the toasting levels in wine barrels, even "heavy toast," is much lighter than actual charring.

 

 

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