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  1. #1
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    If you had a 5 liter charred barrel . . .

    So at KBF I talked myself into a 5 liter barrel from Independent Stave (had been thinking of buying one on-line, and the avoidance of shipping plus having one from folks who know how to make a good barrel - stars aligned!) I've been refilling with water for it to swell per the instructions, and am preparing to fill it in the next day or two.

    There are a couple of different aspects I'm considering, but wanted to see what everyone else thinks on the topic.

    AGE: I want to throw in young bourbon (sub 4 yrs), and avoid bourbon that is older (definitely avoiding 10 yr+). Unfortunately, most of the young bourbon I have is only 90 proof, which brings me to . . .

    PROOF: I wanted to try to use some higher proof bourbon to offset the lower proof. Based on what I have on hand, I probably can't hit 115 proof, but my goal is to try for that.

    MASHBILL: The only wheated mashbill I have that is higher proof is WLW, which isn't going into this experiment. While I have a handle of Larceny, in trying to keep the proof up - I'm leaning towards using traditional rye to high-rye bourbons (like OGD 114).

    DISTILLERY: I don't know that this will be a consideration, or if it is - perhaps a tie breaker.

    COST: I'd be lying if I said this wasn't a consideration (I'm not using BTAC, ECBP, etc), but I'm also not limiting it to value bourbon (as I don't think I could hit the proof I'd like with that).

    Lastly - I'm looking to use what I have on-hand, rather than going out and purchasing for this. I expect this first fill to be a learning experience, and honestly - am not getting my hopes up. Long term I'd like to have a "living mingle" in the barrel after perhaps the 2nd or 3rd fill, so that it is evolving, although that may still be too long in the barrel unless I consumed/added pretty regularly.

    How would you approach it?
    Gary
    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    "Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough." - Mark Twain
    "Because Whiskey Matters!" - David Perkins

  2. #2
    Virtuoso
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    Re: If you had a 5 liter charred barrel . . .

    What about some HH Gold Label BiB with the OGD 114? Don't know if you want to mix distilleries (or even how that would taste, but it would get your proof up there and meet your age constraint ...)

    OR ... put all OGD 114 in there to get the wood notes up, and then blend it back with regular OGD114?
    Mark

  3. #3

    Re: If you had a 5 liter charred barrel . . .

    4 750 ml Knob Creek Single barrel 120 proof(9years old) + 2 1L Kirkland (Costco) small batch 103 proof (7 years old) Same Beam juice, both have some age but not too much. The price shouldn't be out of touch with reality, and the proof should be close to your target.
    Last edited by Grain Belt; 09-28-2014 at 06:29.

  4. #4
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    Re: If you had a 5 liter charred barrel . . .

    Never done it myself, but reading the experiences of others, I'd likely toss in something very young, white dog, and something inexpensive, young HH, to start.

    I would do this to take some of the initial barrel intensity down a notch, then start to add something more along the lines of your final thoughts.

    While it may taint most people's results, I would maybe add in the first fill some overproof rum. I think that could play well with a BIB in the mix. After all , it's a experiment.

    B
    "Life is life and fun is fun, but it's all so quiet when the goldfish die."

  5. #5
    Connoisseur
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    Jan 2014
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    MD
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    Re: If you had a 5 liter charred barrel . . .

    You could always throw in some under-matured rye . . . Like maybe WFE 2 yr.

    Where will you be storing this barrel?
    Eric

  6. #6
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    Jun 2010
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    Greenwood, IN
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    Re: If you had a 5 liter charred barrel . . .

    I have seen HH and BT white dog in stores.

  7. #7
    Connoisseur
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    Jan 2013
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    Downriver, Detroit, MI
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    Re: If you had a 5 liter charred barrel . . .

    g'bean's question about the location of the barrel is a very important one to consider. If it gets hot enough on your porch at/near the ceiling (build a tall rick?), I'd do that for the portion of the 'warm' season that remains...or; attic?. I don't know if it'll get warm enough this season to really do any aging; but maybe. Outdoors in the winter will draw back whatever small amount has entered the wood past the sugar line. If storing at a constant temperature (indoors), I doubt you'll get much action from a barrel, even as small as this.
    Also, The entry proof IMO doesn't need to be much more than low-100's proof to get the 'barrel benefit'. I think your target of 115 is a bit higher than necessary; but who knows?
    As to choices of brands to blend.....
    I'd start with OGD114, add KC120, then put in a higher proof wheater like OWA. That would be all the high-proof I'd use. You could use whatever younger stuff you wish to bring the proof down to about 107 (again, my opinion, only). Maybe something like HH BIB 6-yr. Old Charter 101, and any 90-proofer's you wish. The addition of a bit of Brandy might enhance it; but it wouldn't be 'Bourbon' any longer. I look forward to tasting your experiment(s).
    Good Luck, and Have Fun!

  8. #8
    Guru
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    May 2013
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    Louisville, KY
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    Re: If you had a 5 liter charred barrel . . .

    i think if i had one of those right now, Id go clear the shelves of what little gold HHBIB is out there, and put that in there.....but Id also toss in the 375ml bottle of 125 proof BT white dog that I can think of no other use for. That's likely get me about 105 proof and young mix to start. Then, I think Id keep it stored in the open rafters of my carport, where it would see the heat of the metal roof in the summer, and the cold of the open air in winter. how could you go wrong? Youd have whatever that barrel cost plus $75 in contents.
    Think about how stupid the average person is.....then realize that half of them are more stupid than that.

  9. #9
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    Re: If you had a 5 liter charred barrel . . .

    One other consideration that I believe bears upon this discussion is the difference in climate (winter, especially) between Nothern Georgia and any place in Kentucky. KY will get down ith single digits occasionally, sometimes for days without getting above freezing at all; really forcing the 'extraction' of fluids from the wood., The chance of that happenning in GA will be remote, and short-lived. That means (IMO) that the lower the proof at entry, the more likely you'll benefit from whatever cool (rather than very cold) weather comes your way, given the higher temperature required to cause vaporization of water, and lower temperature required to freeze alcohol.
    Just my thoughts.

  10. #10
    Virtuoso
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    Re: If you had a 5 liter charred barrel . . .

    Do they give a char level for the barrel, or just say charred? If heavy, I'd stick with the early edition of something light and cheap to take the I ital brunt of flavor.

    but of course, it's only speculation as to what may really happen.

    B
    "Life is life and fun is fun, but it's all so quiet when the goldfish die."

 

 

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