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  1. #11
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    12,375

    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    I've never heard of anyone doing this but there is no reason you couldn't. Put whiskey back into a white oak barrel and it will resume the aging process. I'm not quite sure what this will really tell you about your local weather conditions, but knock yourself out. There is no magic to the standard barrel size. Whiskey will age in any size barrel. Some math wizard here might be able to develop a ratio of internal surface area to volume, allowing you to compare a 53 gallon barrel to a smaller one. Remember too that real whiskey barrels are made with no glue, no finishes, no fasteners. They're just white oak that has been air or kiln dried, steamed to soften it for forming, held together by steel hoops, then charred on the inside. Remember too that most of them leak, at least a little, so don't set up your racks over the living room carpet.

  2. #12
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Kentucky!
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    4,745

    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    Well after reading about both of these barrel makers, they both offer toasted or charred barrels. But on the other hand, neither of them say whether they are made without hardware/glue, like traditional barrels. Though I would stay away from the wax lined ones.

    I'm still not sure if this is a real valid experiment, but I would like to try the results

  3. #13
    Advanced Taster
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    Aug 2004
    Location
    Beijing
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    122

    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    So we cant buy anything larger then a 1.75 liter? Thats not America........thats not even Mexico!

  4. #14
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Kentucky!
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    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    I was on a tour of Beam once and was watching them bottle some huge bottles for overseas somewhere, they were 3 or 4 liter bottles. Putting on the labels was like wallpapering I've never wanted a bottle of Beam white label so bad in my life.

    Come to think of it, in 2001, at the Gala, they were pouring Four Roses out of the same size bottle

  5. #15
    Enthusiast
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    Oct 1999
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    265

    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    The reason you cannot buy a barrel of whiskey & take it home is really because the barrel must be stored on BATF Bonded property. That is so the Govt. can get the Excise Tax due when the barrrel is bottled & shipped.
    Julian

  6. #16
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    681

    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    i live close to the ocean. I was thinking it would be interesting to see how the ocean air, along with the temperature changes and different humidity would affect the taste.

    thanks for the info on the barrel specs. that is very helpful. The ones I saw for sale were specific to spirits like brandy and tequilla so i think i will be fine there.

    I've never heard of anyone doing this but there is no reason you couldn't. Put whiskey back into a white oak barrel and it will resume the aging process. I'm not quite sure what this will really tell you about your local weather conditions, but knock yourself out. There is no magic to the standard barrel size. Whiskey will age in any size barrel. Some math wizard here might be able to develop a ratio of internal surface area to volume, allowing you to compare a 53 gallon barrel to a smaller one. Remember too that real whiskey barrels are made with no glue, no finishes, no fasteners. They're just white oak that has been air or kiln dried, steamed to soften it for forming, held together by steel hoops, then charred on the inside. Remember too that most of them leak, at least a little, so don't set up your racks over the living room carpet.

  7. #17
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    8,979

    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    It should be relatively easy to buy a new white oak keg that is blackened on the inside, buy a few jugs of bourbon (the 1.75 size commonly available), pour in keg, seal and wait a year or two. One would need to be sure there is no glue or other such additives in the wood but careful inquiry should be enough to confirm this.

    If the oak isn't blackened, one can do this oneself provided normal precautions are taken. If it was me and I lived in a rural area, I would arrange for the keg to be charred from a straw fire, the way it was done originally (one of the ways, certainly).

    I would do this with, say, Ancient Age but many other brands would be suitable. As Chuck says, you are just re-starting the aging.

    I think a moist, maritime climate would be suitable, especially if the kegs were moved regularly. Bourbon and rye used to be shipped on clippers to hasten maturation.

    Kegs come in all sizes and one holding, say, 20 litres or so should be ideal.

    To my mind this should not be difficult to do, at least for someone in a rural area who can safely store such a container, e.g., in a shed.

    The smaller the container is, the faster the maturation. In the 1930's, quarter-casks were used to mature whiskey. There was a shortage of whiskey post-Volstead and distillers needed to make a saleable product more quickly than would result from the standard barrel. It would be nice to do exact calculations but one could go by guess and go. E.g. at the end of one year, a sampling could be done to see if there was a clear improvement and a decision could be made whether to continue the process.

    I am assuming there is no legal obstacle (federal, State, local), but applicable laws (ATF, environmental, safety, etc.) should be checked before proceeding.

    Gary

  8. #18
    Connoisseur
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    Jul 2005
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    Mentor, Ohio, USA
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    837

    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    This is sounding interesting. You might come up with something that is very good. What do you think the odds are that this would be worth doing?

    Ken

  9. #19
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Sep 2002
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    Toronto, Canada
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    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    Ken, I don't think there is any question that if done correctly an excellent result could be obtained. I would ensure the container had good aeration, if it was kept in a shed or maybe a garage with porous walls or windows periodically opened, that would help, to preclude the risk of mustiness. Obviously it would be important to monitor the cask and store it in a way that would remove the risk of damage from leakage or fire. But in terms of the quality, I think you'd end up with something quite good, maybe really good. I would age my own vattings, too, if I could. Fleishmann in 1885 advised that his blends should be casked and stored in the top level of the warehouse for three months. He said don't bother doing it though for spirits (GNS) because it won't mature - that guy knew his stuff. Again, see the extracts from his book at www.pre-pro.com.

    Gary



  10. #20
    Connoisseur
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    Jul 2005
    Location
    Mentor, Ohio, USA
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    837

    Re: barrel programs...can I buy and age my own bar

    I'm getting more and more interested here.... I tried to find a link to Fleishmann's Book on pre-pro.com. I found the book listed but no online text....

    I wonder how long a 6 -8 year bourbon should lay in a small (10 liter) cask?? 2 years??

    And how hot does a Kentucky ware house get in summer???

    Ken

 

 

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