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  1. #1
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Chicago
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    38

    Aging Your Own in a Minature Barrel

    I was given a 1 liter charred oak barrel by a friend in my homebrew club. I was thinking of starting out with some bourbon in the barrel but am having a hard time deciding what.

    Has anyone tried this?

    What would you start with?

    I originally thought of putting something simple in like Maker's Mark to see what differences would occur with some extra age in a barrel. Then I thought maybe instead I would get a bottom shelf brand and see if it gets any better with additional age. Then I thought maybe some "white dog" they sell would be a nice experiment to develop my own private bourbon. I assume the time in the barrel would be less due to greater contact area for such a small sample.

    Any ideas or suggestions?

  2. #2
    Trippah and Admin
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    Feb 2008
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    Northeast Ahia
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    4,704

    Re: Aging Your Own in a Minature Barrel

    If you add bourbon to the barrel you won't get a bourbon that has been aged more...you will get a woodier bourbon...and pretty quickly at that.

    I wouldnt waste white dog on the experiment since it needs more than just exposure to wood to mature. Try putting in something that you think would improve with the addition of oak flavors and keep a close eye on it.
    My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment.
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  3. #3
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Northern Indiana
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    1,661

    Re: Aging Your Own in a Minature Barrel


  4. #4
    Connoisseur
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    Mar 2010
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    Columbia. South Carolina
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    865

    Re: Aging Your Own in a Minature Barrel

    I tried this using a 5 liter barrel. Placed 5 liters of Evan Williams BIB in it and left it 30 days. I now have 4.9 liters of VERY strong, pine-like flavored nasty bourbon.

  5. #5

    Re: Aging Your Own in a Minature Barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch View Post
    I tried this using a 5 liter barrel. Placed 5 liters of Evan Williams BIB in it and left it 30 days. I now have 4.9 liters of VERY strong, pine-like flavored nasty bourbon.
    My experiment was a failure as well, but I just left the whiskey in the barrel...guests seem to get a kick out of pouring straight from the barrel and when covered up with coke it doesn't really matter how it tastes. So, good tasting bourbon: Fail. Novelty: Win.

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
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    Mar 2010
    Location
    Columbia. South Carolina
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    865

    Re: Aging Your Own in a Minature Barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by c2walker View Post
    My experiment was a failure as well, but I just left the whiskey in the barrel...guests seem to get a kick out of pouring straight from the barrel and when covered up with coke it doesn't really matter how it tastes. So, good tasting bourbon: Fail. Novelty: Win.

    Do you allow the bourbon to get stronger and stronger.

    I have thought about finding a way to seal the inside of the barrel with a resin or something and do the same but haven't found an easy way to do it yet.

  7. #7
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,808

    Re: Aging Your Own in a Minature Barrel

    I ruined some WT and then tried some 4Roses YL with same result. Thinking I might try aging soy sauce.

  8. #8

    Re: Aging Your Own in a Minature Barrel

    Yeah, I think you have to have some level of trust that the folks making bourbon know what they're doing...when they make a bourbon.

  9. #9
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Reston, VA
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    360

    Re: Aging Your Own in a Minature Barrel

    I have a couple of friends who have used small barrel to age manhattans and have them " on tap". Worked pretty well in my opinion, although one of them (actually a local bar) had to bottle them after a certain point when they started to overage. Going to try that myself shortly. Another friend tried it with JD and Jameson- he figured both were good but could use some oomph. The JD turned out ok, but the Jameson was ruined.

  10. #10
    Disciple
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    Jun 2010
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    Northern Indiana
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    1,661

    Re: Aging Your Own in a Minature Barrel

    I actually have some good news in this thread. In the old one I was following (among others) some 51/49 corn/wheat from the Grand Traverse Distillery since last summer. I pulled the remains of it today, and I have to say I really enjoyed the taste of what came out.

    It was very dark, the color of a dark supermarket brand syrup. The nose wasn't anything remarkable, just a typical bourbon. The mouthfeel was heavy and viscous, but short of "chewy". It's one of those where you can take a very small sip, but still get a very strong flavor.

    The initial flavor was very good, and more complex than it had been through the aging process. I picked up notes of citrus, cinnamon, and tobacco. The finish was long, strong, and very heavily loaded with oak.

    Basically I spent $60 and 6 months making a product that I would buy any day for $35 to enjoy later that night. But as I remind myself, it's more about the journey than the destination.

 

 

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