THIS IS FUN!
I’ll start from the beginning, just in case you need to catch up. A couple weeks ago was my 36th birthday and my wife purchased an “Age Your Own Bourbon” kit from Wheat State Distilling. That introduction article is here.
The whole process has been a blast so far. First and Foremost make sure to put the spout in first! I didn’t make that mistake, but it does happen. After installing the spout it is time to prep the barrel for the whiskey. To do that we have to make it swell up by adding hot water to the barrel. I could have used tap water, but I was afraid of the chlorine in tap water affecting my barrel, so I chose to use distilled water heated to boiling in a stainless steel pan. The directions say it can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple days. It took me 3 days. It might have taken less time, but I made the mistake of putting the bung in which causes a vacuum effect and doesn’t allow the water to soak in. After I removed the bung and allowed natural seepage the barrel was ready pretty quickly. I chose to reheat the water daily, not sure if I needed to, but I did. After three days of soaking the wood was finally dry.
The second step is pretty easy, empty out the water then grab a funnel and pour the Bourbon in. Before we did that though we had to see what clear, undiluted Bourbon tastes like. Don’t do it! The nose is just like moonshine, alcohol and yeast. It’s hot, and it tastes kind of like moonshine. However, it is the best moonshine I have tried yet.
That was 1 week ago
We decided to test the barrel weekly, because we have been told that it is easy to overage the Bourbon. It is amazing what has happened in just a week. The bourbon is drinkable! It’s actually decent, not the best, but not the worst either. The flavor has changed so much from our first taste of the un-aged stuff it is wild. It is already a light straw color, and the nose has lost a lot of the yeasty smell from the first tasting. It’s lost the yeasty flavor as well and has taken on slight vanilla and oak notes. I’m really looking forward to trying it out again in a week.
I’ve been looking at getting larger 5.3 gallon barrels to start aging spirits longer. I’ve also been thinking about one of these for each of my boys on their 16th birthday to be poured on their 21st. I’ll keep you all informed as I go. Look for part 2 of this series in a few weeks.
Check these guys out for more information. I just found them and they have a lot of information. Oak Barrels LTD
I welcome your thoughts and opinions. Review suggestions are welcome.
Until Next Time,