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GreggJ

Barrel Aging Cocktails at Home. Anyone else doing this?

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Fodowsky

I'd like to resurrect this because I have a few more questions I would love to get the guidance of those here who have experience.

Is it essential to fill the barrel to remove as much air as possible? If not, is there a minimum? 1/2 Full? 3/4? 1/4?

Once you get the aged cocktail to the "sweet spot" should it be bottled?

Since Vermouth is involved, should the juice be refrigerated after the time in the barrel?

Can sugars be added during the time in the barrel? I love my Maple Manhattan recipe and would like to try to age it.

Are there advantages to altering the temperature during barreling? Time spent inside (cooler) vs outside (much warmer here in Dallas)

I've ordered both a 1 and 2 liter barrels. Can't wait to get started on this. I have the High West 36th Vote and while it is pretty good, I think I can do much better! Would also love to hear other recipes you have tried.

Thanks in advance for your help!!

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Trey Manthey

The higher alcohol content prevents the vermouth from spoiling. I barrel age negroni, manhattan, and boulevardier. Once the fill level gets below 1/3 or it has been in for more than a month I'll usually dump into a bottle or decanter.

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Josh

I have a 5 liter barrel in the attic of my garage (it's a big garage) I own in conjunction with Bonneamie in which we've been aging whiskeys and cocktails. The first cocktail (put into the barrel after it was used to age some peated malt spirit from Grand Traverse Distillery) was a manhattan. I don't remember what brands I used that time, but I used a 1:1:1 ratio of bourbon, rye, and sweet vermouth.After that I filled it with more manhattan mix. It was the same proportions, but I remember the brand this time: 1 Bulleit Rye, 1 Rittenhouse, 1 Old Granddad BiB, 1 Bulleit Bourbon, 2 Dolin vermouth. When it was where we wanted it, I decanted it into bottles. It turned out very well, as any of the people who tasted it at the get together at my house can testify. I didn't put any bitters into the barrel because I didn't want to do the math it get the right ratio and figured they could just be added to taste before drinking.

After that we refilled the barrel with the peated malt whiskey since neither of us was very happy about how it turned out. It was in there for most of the summer. It turned out pretty weird, but pretty tasty. It has a real nutty nose and taste and a fruity finish so I nicknamed it PB&J whiskey. The first company to come up with a manhattan-finished peated malt whiskey is getting sued by me.

Anyway, after the peated malt rebarreling, we decided to do a boulevardier. We used 1:1:1 ration again. 2 bottles Campari, 2 bottles Old Ezra 101, 2 bottles Noilly Pratt red vermouth (I went cheap because the Campari is so damn expensive). We are looking forward to the results!

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Josh
I'd like to resurrect this because I have a few more questions I would love to get the guidance of those here who have experience.

Is it essential to fill the barrel to remove as much air as possible? If not, is there a minimum? 1/2 Full? 3/4? 1/4?

As full as possible would be my recommendation.

Once you get the aged cocktail to the "sweet spot" should it be bottled?

Yes. It's easy to just save the bottles that the stuff you put into the barrel came in.

Since Vermouth is involved, should the juice be refrigerated after the time in the barrel?

No, because of what Trey said.

Can sugars be added during the time in the barrel? I love my Maple Manhattan recipe and would like to try to age it.

Never tried that so I can't comment on it. Try it yourself and report back!

Are there advantages to altering the temperature during barreling? Time spent inside (cooler) vs outside (much warmer here in Dallas)

Temperature variation is your friend. It helps the liquid inside move in and out of the layers of the wood. I have noticed a significant variation in how my garage barrel does in summer vs. winter. Ages much faster in the summer.

I've ordered both 1 and 2 liter barrels. Can't wait to get started on this. I have the High West 36th Vote and while it is pretty good, I think I can do much better! Would also love to hear other recipes you have tried.

Thanks in advance for your help!!

See my post above. Good luck! I would also say that it took several fills before my barrel really started hitting its stride.

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EagleRiver

If beer counts then yes I barrel age at home.

Here is one of my brewing partners filling a buffalo trace barrel with our Home brew Imperial Stout.

post-8925-14489819767929_thumb.jpg

We aged it for a year in the barrel, Then we divided it into 10 5 gallon kegs and aged parts of it with other items after the barrel ageing. My favorite was the fresh toasted coconut, Tahitian vanilla bean and intelligentsia Espresso bean combo, it was pretty Epic.

Right now we have a 13% English Barleywine that has been in a Weller Special Reserve Barrel since April, we will probably keg and bottle it around Christmas, though it already tastes spectacular.

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MyOldKyDram

That dude has three arms! :o

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Renegator

The only cocktail I have barrel aged is Manhattans. I find (like so many others) it really rounds out the drink - takes the edges off.

I also barrel aged some Captain Morgan for 30 days. It really changed the flavor and I could really taste the oak. It was interesting and not something I did a second time... if you catch my drift.

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Fodowsky

So I'm getting ready to barrel my first batch. The barrel has been full of water for the past few days and is good to go. I've picked the vermouth - Carpano Antica. I'm thinking about blending HWRR with a little Handy - any thoughts on this? Angostura, Fee Brother Whisky Aged and Fee Brothers Cherry bitters. Looking forward to the results!

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HighInTheMtns
So I'm getting ready to barrel my first batch. The barrel has been full of water for the past few days and is good to go. I've picked the vermouth - Carpano Antica. I'm thinking about blending HWRR with a little Handy - any thoughts on this? Angostura, Fee Brother Whisky Aged and Fee Brothers Cherry bitters. Looking forward to the results!

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Yeti
If beer counts then yes I barrel age at home.

Here is one of my brewing partners filling a buffalo trace barrel with our Home brew Imperial Stout.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]16551[/ATTACH]

We aged it for a year in the barrel, Then we divided it into 10 5 gallon kegs and aged parts of it with other items after the barrel ageing. My favorite was the fresh toasted coconut, Tahitian vanilla bean and intelligentsia Espresso bean combo, it was pretty Epic.

Right now we have a 13% English Barleywine that has been in a Weller Special Reserve Barrel since April, we will probably keg and bottle it around Christmas, though it already tastes spectacular.

Good God, man! That all sounds delicious. Good work!

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Fodowsky

I barreled a 2 liter Manhattan recipe and a 1 liter Negroni recipe yesterday. Now the waiting begins. I used my personal favorite recipes. I figure I can tweak them along the way or when I prepare a drink.

Manhattan

30 oz High West Rendezvous Rye

8 oz Thomas Handy Rye

13 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth

2 oz Angostura Bitters

.5 oz Fee Brothers Whiskey Aged Bitters

.5 oz Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters

Negroni

10 oz Hendricks Gin

10 oz Carpano Antica

10 oz Campari

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bigtoys

started today. just using a small bottle with a piece of charred wood from Tuthilltown

3 parts 4R yellow label, 1 part Noilly Prat sweet vermouth, 1 part Cherry Marnier, dashes Regan's orange bitters

(this is Gibson's Steakhouse Rush St. Manhattan, subbing 4R for WR)

8030834e-527c-47fb-bbd0-4d00cf478d4a_zpsbc6f8137.jpg

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smokinjoe

For some reason, I just couldn't resist doing this...:crazy: Just had a ball filling my 1L barrel with a Vieux Carre...I am with no doubt, easily entertained...Now, I wait.

BTW, the main 3 were: Ri1, Ferrand Ambre, and Vya.

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Fodowsky

I am officially a fan. I bottled my recipes and they are simply delicious. Lots of oak mixed with a Manhattan flavor that is very balanced and integrated. Unlike anything I've ever had. Love it.

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Fodowsky

Just barreled another recipe. Willet Rye, Punt e Mes and Angostura. Now I wait... with a Manhattan from Batch #1!

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rndenks

Reading this post is giving me the itch to barrel another batch. That and I am down to my last bottle of my previous batch. I am interested in how Bigtoys batch tasted with FRYL? That was my going to be my next selection. Maybe give me something to do this weekend, so I might have them ready for Thanksgiving!!!

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ewj

currently got three batches going. teqroni, brazilivardier and manhattan sitting in the barrel as we speak. will post a pic asap

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rndenks

Getting ready to mix up another batch of Manhattans for my barrel, and I need some help making my mind up on ingredients. My last batch was made with MM. I am sharing this batch with some neighbors, so I think I want to stay away from rye.

I am deciding between FRYL, Larceny, KC and ER10. Anyone want to help me pick?

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ewj

i'd give 4ryw a try bc it's by far the cheapest and low-ish proof too which is a plus in barrel ageing

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tanstaafl2
Getting ready to mix up another batch of Manhattans for my barrel, and I need some help making my mind up on ingredients. My last batch was made with MM. I am sharing this batch with some neighbors, so I think I want to stay away from rye.

I am deciding between FRYL, Larceny, KC and ER10. Anyone want to help me pick?

A barrel aged Manhattan will likely soften the rye component of the drink and might be a good way to introduce others to the joy of rye. Use a barely legal rye like the old standby, Ritt BIB, and see how it works. If you don't want 100 proof then there is always the "crown jewel" of WT, the 81 proof rye. Although personally I think I would want more proof for a barrel aged cocktail, not less.

Of the others the Four Roses is likely the highest in rye content with probably something around 25-30% depending on the blend that day so that would be my (reluctant) second choice. :cool:

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sutton

If your last one was based on MM I'd say try ER10 which is low-rye, but not sure how much barrel influence is picked up in the additional barrel aging that might make the cocktail too woody? While FRYL isn't low rye, it is low proof and likely not as old. I'd pick that, it would at least be a nice contrast in style to the MM blend you just did and the low proof would keep the rye influence from being very dominant - might provide a gentle enough transition from the MM version if that was a hit.

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squire

Of course a low rye mash bill such as Old Charter might work. For mixing purposes I think Benchmark holds up right well and is not so rye froward as say Bulliet or Barton.

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rndenks

Thanks for the input.

I decided to go with the FRYL for a couple of reasons. First, I plan to save one bottle from each batch so I can do a side by side comparison down the road. The FRYL is close in proof to the MM, but I believe it is more of rye heavy bourbon than wheater (?). I think my next batch will be a full blown rye, and then I would like to do a high proof batch. It think that would give an interesting range of recipes.

Anyways, I am hoping to barrel next week, and I will post my thoughts when it is done.

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rndenks

Well I tasted my latest batch last night again, and I think I will be bottling it tonight. I went with the FRYL, and at a mix of 2:2:1. I tasted it twice over the two weeks, and my initial reaction both times is the FRYL seems too light (proof wise). I doubt I would go below 90 proof ever again.

Last night I tasted side by side with a pour from an non-barreled sample of the same recipe. There is no doubt that the barrel aged is mellower, well mingled and more oaky. By this I mean you taste the drink as one thing rather than tasting the sweetness of vermouth, the herbs of bitters, and the bourbon all separately in stages of the tasting. And the finish is very wooded and a bit dry, and that wood lingers too.

So excited to spend more time with a real pour of this over the weekend. I will report more tasting notes. Next batch will be a full blown rye!!!

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