The term “barrel ageing” means exactly what you think when reading it. However, the most interesting thing that it has been around for quite a while – at least a couple of thousand years. Do not let the ancient technique make you think that the process is quite easy and does not require a scientific background. Whether you just want to try barrel aging on your own or simply want to learn the ways of this ancient tradition, we’ve got you covered here.
The smooth taste of whiskey after the aging whiskey process can be explained by the magic of old traditions. This is what is rooted in Celtic history and people still use it nowadays for aging whiskey at home. You can guess by its name that oak barrel whiskey aging requires patient and careful maturing of a future whiskey substance within a wood barrel. It’s an ancient relationship between barrels wood and spirit that results in the aroma and flavor of whiskey, as well as barrel aging beer. Initially, it was used as a long-term container for shipping such liquids, though one accident of wood barrels gave distillers an effective and creative means for producing popular spirits. Fortunately, almost everyone can do ageing whiskey at home.
What exactly happens during the process?
Raw ingredients (water is the main one, along with barley or other grain of choice) are locked in a wood barrel and kept there for a certain amount of time. The latter is determined by factors such as the temperature and humidity of the place where the process occurs. As time passes, the barrel wood allows for vapor to pass outside of the barrel as well as fusion oxygen into the mix. This double-fusion process happens in a consistent manner.
In addition to the important role, wood plays in aging whiskey in small barrels, the container itself can be considered a filter. Wood barrels used for aging our favorite liquids are processed (toasted) prior to putting all the necessary components inside, which results in a charcoal coating that possesses the qualities of a filter. This way we ensure that flavors that are disagreeable to the palate are removed. As the charcoal removes certain unwanted flavors, the wood blends in the essence, causing to mix vanillin, tannins, and the smoky appeal associated with spirits such barrel aging bourbon at home.
Various types of barrels for aging spirits
There are many ways to age spirits. You can pick different types of woods for the barrels, as well as consider using brand-new or already used barrels. American white oak is a common choice for aging spirits. Other alternatives may include maple, hickory, French oak, and cedar. Each type of wood gives whiskey unique flavor combinations that are considered when deciding the intended flavor of the end product.
The selection of the appropriate barrel is not just about the type of wood. Bourbon or wine aging may require a new barrel with no flavors of another spirit, while a distiller may use a previously used one for whiskey, for instance. During this process, the wood absorbs flavors of the aged spirit, which can be mixed into any future aging liquid if the same barrel is used.
Why learn about barrel aging? How to age whiskey?
It seems that wood barrels instinctively command the aging of spirits. The barrel itself creates airflow – gradually fusing oxygen into the mix while allowing evaporation to occur. It also filters out flavors that might otherwise give the spirit an undesirable taste. What is more important, to get rid of the sensation of rubbing alcohol, the wood decreases the amount of ethanol inside the barrel.
The whole process of aging spirits creates a wonderful whiskey or other product full of aroma and flavor without substances that can diminish the essence enjoyed all over the world. To appreciate the end product, one must grasp the importance of the process described above.
If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy whiskey, check out these products that we have prepared for you.
Custom Engraved American Premium Oak Aging Barrel
Made of high quality American white oak, this barrel is going to be an amazing gift for those who enjoy the natural product and understand the art within the process of aging spirits. The barrel has a medium amount of charring. You can use it for making beer, rum, whiskey, and wine at home while getting every penny out of your investment in this barrel.
The slow release of natural flavors that can be found in the wood will make your beverage special no matter what. The main thing is to read the instructions and follow them. This way you will get the best spirit you’ve ever had in your life!
Sofia’s Findings 20-Liter American White Oak Aging Barrel
This is another fine product for true connoisseurs that value ancient traditions of aging spirits, wine, and beer. With this barrel, there is nothing you cannot do. The limit is your imagination and the number of recipes that you can find.
Another alternative to using this barrel is to place it in your apartment as a decorative item.
However, if you feel like doing the right thing and have decided to make your own spirit, make sure that you prepare the barrel the right way to avoid any kind of leaking in the beginning.
It takes only about a week or so to make fine and yummy rum, whiskey, or another spirit. So be ready to use this barrel again and again!
20-Liter American White Oak Aging Barrel