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  1. #11
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    Re: Barrel Aging Cocktails at Home. Anyone else doing this?

    Now I can see a reason for those barrels, 'Honey, I've got to drink them up or they'll go off'.

  2. #12
    Enthusiast
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    May 2012
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    Los Angeles
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    Re: Barrel Aging Cocktails at Home. Anyone else doing this?

    Do you think the barrel is interacting with the Manhattan at all or is it the equivalent of aging in a mason jar (albeit more fun)? This will be my next experiment after the rock and rye is done, but I might just skip buying the barrel.

  3. #13
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    Jan 2013
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    Cleveland
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    Re: Barrel Aging Cocktails at Home. Anyone else doing this?

    I think it interacts with the barrel. I could taste a very distinct oak taste that I have never tasted in Makers Mark. It also smooths out the drink.

    I was unable to complete my tasting comparing my aged manhattans vs. fresh made ones. Still can't kick this cold and I want to give a fair review. I will try one evening this week.

  4. #14
    Disciple
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    Jun 2010
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    Northern Indiana
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    Re: Barrel Aging Cocktails at Home. Anyone else doing this?

    Quote Originally Posted by compliance View Post
    Do you think the barrel is interacting with the Manhattan at all or is it the equivalent of aging in a mason jar (albeit more fun)? This will be my next experiment after the rock and rye is done, but I might just skip buying the barrel.
    I have nothing specific to document this, but I sense the oak does wonders for the vermouth.

  5. #15
    Advanced Taster
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    Mar 2012
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    Wylie Texas
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    211

    Re: Barrel Aging Cocktails at Home. Anyone else doing this?

    I have two 1L barrels. First one filled with BT White after infusing with a Madagascar vanilla bean for a week. Then barreled for six months. In and out of the house to get some serious Texas heat. Came out of the barrel at 150 proof and the angels took 35%. Mellowed it down to 120 proof. It's a has a great deep dark color. Flavor wise not too complex, strong woodsy taste is balanced well with a strong vanilla and caramel note. Happy with my first attempt.
    2nd barrel got a rye white dog infused with cinnamon and nutmeg for a week before entering the barrel. Only four months when I decided to bottle it. Again over 150 proof but only 20% loss. Proofed downed to 110. Nice color, very spicy, real bold mouthful of flavors and creamy too. Again pleased with the result. But I am a novice. I know I like both better than most bottom shelf whiskey's.

  6. #16
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    Jun 2009
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    Northville, MI
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    Re: Barrel Aging Cocktails at Home. Anyone else doing this?

    Great stuff in here. Any thoughts on good places to get barrels? Is there a book or website that talks about the ways to do this? recipes? time in barrel and such?

    Best regards, Tony

  7. #17
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    Re: Barrel Aging Cocktails at Home. Anyone else doing this?

    I doubt I'll ever try such an experiment but I understand the appeal.

  8. #18
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    Aug 2008
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    Tallahassee
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    Re: Barrel Aging Cocktails at Home. Anyone else doing this?

    How do the Manhattans you guys are aging compare to the High West barrel aged Manhattan? Anyone do a side by side taste comparo? I would expect the capability to tweak to you own personal taste preference would be a huge plus for dong it at home.

  9. #19
    Advanced Taster
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    Jan 2013
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    Cleveland
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    Re: Barrel Aging Cocktails at Home. Anyone else doing this?

    I finally had time to sit down this weekend for a head-to-head tasting of my barrel aged Manhattans up against a freshly made Manhattan of the same recipe. The best part was that I did this with my Dad just prior to enjoying a fine cigar and enjoying some short lived but much needed spring weather in Ohio. That is what Easter is all about right…well partially I guess.

    The recipe I used was 2:1:1 dash using Makers Mark, Martin Rossi Sweet Vermouth and Angostura bitters. The aged batch was done in my 3L charred oak barrel for 12 days, and then bottled in several 375 ml glass bottles. Here is what I found.

    Nose: The aged Manhattan had a definite distinct oak note with nearly no alcohol undertone compared to the fresh. The fresh cocktail did have sort of “crisp” smell, but you could pick a part the different pieces.
    Taste: On the aged version the oak hits hard up front…really noticeable, not unpleasant, but quickly trails off into a super smooth and blended taste. The fresh again was “crisp” almost refreshing taste. It was completely obvious as to which was which.
    Finish: You could easily pull apart the pieces (bourbon, vermouth and bitters) in the fresh Manhattan. The aged cocktail was tougher to do that because it almost seemed to be “one” component. Also the aged Manhattan had a very slight oaky finish. It did have an almost “dry” taste, but not to the point that is was unpleasant. I do not know if that is the tannins from the oak, but it was definitely unique to the aged version.

    My verdict: They were both good, and I think they both have their place. The comparison that keeps coming to mind is “sweet vs. savory”, but it is more crisp vs. smooth. The aged Manhattan is so smooth and complex that it reminds of the enjoyment of a good steak right off the grill. It is complex enough to enjoy on its own, and really savor the complexity. While the fresh Manhattan had that crispness that would be very refreshing on warm summer day, or could serve a complimentary roll at a meal.

    I plan to continue to experiment with barrel aging Manhattans by playing with the recipe, age, etc. I thinking for my next batch to try FR Yellow and maybe blood orange bitters. I would like to hold back one bottle per batch for comparing the recipes down the road.

    There you are. I would love to hear if anyone else has completed similar tastings.

  10. #20
    Advanced Taster
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    Dec 2010
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    Cincinnati, OH
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    230

    Re: Barrel Aging Cocktails at Home. Anyone else doing this?

    A number of bars downtown have been aging cocktails - mostly manhattans. I've really enjoyed how integrated the flavors are. It looks like some of you really pick up on the additional oak character, but I do wonder what differences would be noted between a mason jar aged manhattan vs. barrel-aged manhattan. I don't have a barrel so I encourage someone out there to try this and report back. If I get a small barrel, I'll post here with findings.

 

 

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