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GreggJ

Barrel Aging Cocktails at Home. Anyone else doing this?

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mhatzung

Thanks to this thread I ordered a one liter barrel to age Manhattans in. 8 days ago I mixed 750 ml of WT101 with 6 ounces of Noilly Prat Sweet(4:1) and 1 ounce of Angostura Bitters. I tasted it tonight and was surprised at how 'put together' it was. Very smooth with some added smoke and oak in the finish. It was like I had used a much more expensive bourbon to make the Manhattan. I think I will let it go till it has aged 2 weeks and then bottle it. I'm very happy with the the results so far. I would just like to increase the smoke and oak in the finish. I'm really liking what's there.

Any suggestions for my next aging trial? I'm open to any suggestions, whether you've tried it or just think it would work. How long do you think I should expect to age the next batch? 2 weeks like this one or three because the barrel is not new?

Edited by mhatzung

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higgins

I just finished my first batch of "barrel aged" Manhattans with one of those Tuthilltown bottle inserts. I used RRSmBSB, which I didn't find particularly complex or interesting on it's own. The Manhattan was fantastic, though. As mentioned previously in this thread, the cocktail becomes very unified and integrated in flavor. Mine had a great, long-lasting dry finish that I would never be able to get without barrel aging.

Any suggestions for my next aging trial? I'm open to any suggestions, whether you've tried it or just think it would work.

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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.

Let the record show here, that I answered the question very helpfully...;)

And, if you're asking if I'm trying to be a Dick...The answer is...YES!!!!!!! :lol:

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HighInTheMtns
Let the record show here, that I answered the question very helpfully...;)

And, if you're asking if I'm trying to be a Dick...The answer is...YES!!!!!!! :lol:

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Fodowsky

I just bottled a batch of Manhattans made with Knob Creek Maple Rye. Really nice!

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Young Blacksmith

I have a three liter barrel filled with a mix of baby sazerac, rittenhouse, and half a bottle of WTR101, and a bottle of Dolin sweet vermouth. I skipped the bitters in the barrel as I like the way they taste too much. Boy is it easy to make a Manhattan now!

Fill a glass with a couple of cubes, grab the jar of Luxardo cherries, spoon up two with some juice, drop it in the glass, shake 5-6 times with Pechyaud's, and count to 5 while filling from the barrel. Stir and enjoy!

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bigtoys

just finished my Cherry Grand Marnier Manhattan

gonna do another one

I like the idea of using different bourbons/ryes

maybe I'll leave out the cherry brandy this time

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kjbeggs

After reading through the recent replies to this thread, and after being disappointed in the bottled Jefferson Manhattan, i really want to do this.

I'm thinking Old Scout Rye, Carpano Antica, and some Angostura.

First, I'm going to need a barrel, or one of those Tuthilltown kits.

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kjbeggs

I bought a couple of the bottle inserts and set out to "barrel" some Manhattans.

Batch 1: Old Scout Rye and Carpano Antica Vermouth (3/1), with some Angostura bitters, and a touch of Blood Orange bitters. Mixed these up on 5/22, and will check their progress in a couple of weeks.

Batch 2: Knob Creek Smoked Maple (finally, a use for it) and Carpano Antica (4/1), with Sassafras and Sorghum bitters. Did these on 5/26, and will give them a minimum of two weeks as well.

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tanstaafl2
I bought a couple of the bottle inserts and set out to "barrel" some Manhattans.

Batch 1: Old Scout Rye and Carpano Antica Vermouth (3/1), with some Angostura bitters, and a touch of Blood Orange bitters. Mixed these up on 5/22, and will check their progress in a couple of weeks.

Batch 2: Knob Creek Smoked Maple (finally, a use for it) and Carpano Antica (4/1), with Sassafras and Sorghum bitters. Did these on 5/26, and will give them a minimum of two weeks as well.

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kjbeggs
I don't know if there is a right way or not but I like to leave the bitters out and add it as I pour each cocktail from the barrel (Or bottle if I think it has been in the barrel long enough and rebottled the cocktail). But I am sure that it is done with the bitters in the barrel too.

I considered doing that, especially on the second batch, but ultimately decided to add them pre-barreling.

Seems like people have been trying it both ways, and who's really to say what the "right way" is?

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tanstaafl2
I considered doing that, especially on the second batch, but ultimately decided to add them pre-barreling.

Seems like people have been trying it both ways, and who's really to say what the "right way" is?

Just so. The right way is the way you like it!

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Andre2885

Hi all, I havent been on here for a few years and don't have that email account anymore, so I guess I am new again!

I am getting a 2L barrel soon and looking at doing some cocktails. With start with either a Negroni, Boulvardier, Old Fiashioned or a Sazerac. Apart from curing with water first, is there a recommendation for a "first fill"? Should I be putting something else in there first?

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tanstaafl2

I don't think you need to prep it with anything other than the water to try to prevent leaks. Just know that you need to taste frequently and be prepared to bottle what you have in the barrel at any moment once it gets some barrel influence on it. Those tiny barrels age quickly and a cocktail (or even a white dog or other liquor) can go past their peak in a hurry!

 

I like a lightly barrel aged El Presidente (I prefer the slightly sweeter Dolin Blanc vermouth over the typical dry vermouth) but that is rum based, not whiskey. Like a Sazerac, a barrel aged Vieux Carre might be interesting but I have never had one from a barrel (and it takes a slightly broader liquor cabinet to make).

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Andre2885

Thanks for that. What do you think about an order, in terms of one cocktail not overly impacting the next. For example if I start with a boulvardier or Negroni, I am worried the campari might have too much of an impact on the next cocktail if I move to something like a sazerac or old fashioned?

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tanstaafl2
12 hours ago, Andre2885 said:

Thanks for that. What do you think about an order, in terms of one cocktail not overly impacting the next. For example if I start with a boulvardier or Negroni, I am worried the campari might have too much of an impact on the next cocktail if I move to something like a sazerac or old fashioned?

 

I have mostly aged white dogs in my little barrel where that isn't a big concern. But yes, I would think you might want to let it sit for a while with water only after something with Campari or another strong spirit and then dry thoroughly before adding something like an Old Fashioned or a Sazerac. Then again who is to say that it wouldn't be a good thing to pick up a little Negroni in your Old Fashioned? You are, that's who!

 

I suppose the only way to know for sure is to try it. B)

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Andre2885

Oh yeah that could be a good idea about letting it sit with water a few days at least. Thanks for the help!

 

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Andre2885

Oops, so I tried to add a little complexity to a Manhattan by barrel aging the Citron Vodka and Cointreau (with a bit of vanilla syrup). This oaked up far quicker than I anticipated. I will get another bottle of citron and use the last of my cointreau (in the right ratio) to dilute it a bit, but is there anything else I can do to reduce the oakiness a little? Will putting it in the freezer and passing through some tightly packed cheesecloth do anything?

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tanstaafl2
15 hours ago, Andre2885 said:

Oops, so I tried to add a little complexity to a Manhattan by barrel aging the Citron Vodka and Cointreau (with a bit of vanilla syrup). This oaked up far quicker than I anticipated. I will get another bottle of citron and use the last of my cointreau (in the right ratio) to dilute it a bit, but is there anything else I can do to reduce the oakiness a little? Will putting it in the freezer and passing through some tightly packed cheesecloth do anything?

 

A Brita filter perhaps. Yes, I am being serious!

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GaryT
4 hours ago, tanstaafl2 said:

 

A Brita filter perhaps. Yes, I am being serious!

If you do this, please let us know the results!!  

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tanstaafl2
5 hours ago, tanstaafl2 said:

 

A Brita filter perhaps. Yes, I am being serious!

 

44 minutes ago, GaryT said:

If you do this, please let us know the results!!  

 

I should also note that I do not know for sure if it will work but it seems like a reasonable possibility. Activated charcoal should have some impact but you may have to do it several times. Or more than several times. I don't really know!

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GaryT
1 hour ago, tanstaafl2 said:

 

 

I should also note that I do not know for sure if it will work but it seems like a reasonable possibility. Activated charcoal should have some impact but you may have to do it several times. Or more than several times. I don't really know!

 

I saw something (maybe Mythbusters?) years ago where they tried running cheap vodka through Brita filters, and found it did improve it.  So depending upon what it removed to "improve", it seems worthy of a shot!

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Andre2885

I wrote manhattan but I meant cosmo! Don't have a britta filter unfortuantely, not sure if its worth buying just to maybe save this lot. I diluted it down with another bottle of unaged citron vodka / cointreau, and it is already much better. Still probably a bit too oaky. I wonder what filtering actually does in this regard. In theory the barrel taste shouldn't be separable from the spirit should it, it is literally infused in to it?

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GaryT
5 hours ago, Andre2885 said:

I wrote manhattan but I meant cosmo! Don't have a britta filter unfortuantely, not sure if its worth buying just to maybe save this lot. I diluted it down with another bottle of unaged citron vodka / cointreau, and it is already much better. Still probably a bit too oaky. I wonder what filtering actually does in this regard. In theory the barrel taste shouldn't be separable from the spirit should it, it is literally infused in to it?

 

All of the different flavors are various chemical compounds at the end of the day (and there are some chemists on the forum who could articulate it, and probably either tell us what would happen or make a FAR more educated guess!)  I'm not sure if it would take out the extra oak influence or not (it might dull down several characteristics).  I do have a Britta pitcher, and was going to change the filter out next week, but I might see if I can filter a couple of oz of some different things through - just to get an idea.  Hmm . . . I feel a new thread coming on :) 

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tanstaafl2
On 9/2/2016 at 6:17 PM, GaryT said:

 

I saw something (maybe Mythbusters?) years ago where they tried running cheap vodka through Brita filters, and found it did improve it.  So depending upon what it removed to "improve", it seems worthy of a shot!

 

That may well be where I got the idea from! Rum is often heavily filtered to take aged rum and make it look like white rum. Those bottles typically taste bland to me so I would think it would have some impact.

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