How to Age Whiskey at Home – 1 Year Tasting

Aging Whiskey at Home – 1 Year Later

If you didn’t read the original post you can check it out here: How to Age Whiskey at Home

Over the past year I changed the location of the whiskey several time. I started by leaving it outside in the elements but this caused some rust on the lid of the jar. I then moved it to the screen porch and subsequently to it’s final resting place in the garage. The change in temperature helps with the aging process.

Recap of 5 month tasting:

2014-03-13 19.33.50

Color: The color is a nice golden/burnt orange. I put it next to Wild Turkey 101 and they had almost the same color. Granted the WT is watered down to 101 proof.

Nose: sweet and slightly smokey.

Taste: Woody and raw tasting. There is a little spice and sweetness. However, the overwhelming taste of woody hot notes makes it pretty tough to really enjoy.

Overall: It’s really cool to see how the flavor continues to change but it makes you realize why bourbon is usually aged 6-8 years. My plan is to let the whiskey continue to age and occasionally taste test.

One Year tasting:

IMG_2392

Color: Deep amber. Pretty impressive color actually

Nose: Very sweet. Toffee/caramel. Some smokey spices like a chipotle

Taste: It’s like drinking a roasted marshmallow! Sweet with char. It’s definitely not balanced but taste surprisingly good. After a few more sips there’s more brown sugar with just a little orange peel.

Overall: Was not expecting this at all after the more results of the 5 month tasting. This was a drinkable whiskey. It definitely needs more wood or spice notes to be a well balanced whiskey but it’s quite good for only one year old. I’d actually like to slip this in a to blind tasting to see what kind of results it gets. I think my ratio of wood:whiskey was greater than what a barrel would be. The additional wood combined with a heavier than normal char is probably responsible for the results.

I would easily pay $50-$75 if a craft distillery put out something of similar taste. Maybe a craft distillery could add heavily charred oak to an aging barrel to test the results. Feel free to release it as the “Bourbonr Edition” 🙂

If you’re looking for a more authentic aging process I’d suggest buying a Bluegrass Barrel:

1 Liter Barrel
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2 Liter Barrel2litersteel$74.95 + FREE SHIPPING![wp_cart_button name=”2 Liter Barrel” price=”74.95″]

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9 comments

    Blake,

    Given your results so far, what would you think of using one of the products like the barrel aging staves from Tuthilltown?

    Also, what have you heard about reusability of wood chunks vs. mini-barrels?

    Stan – if the mason jar is airtight (which it should be, as they are used for canning), then there is negligible change in ABV as it’s not evaporating like you would get in a barrel.

    Cheers!

    Great read. The mason jar is a good way to go. I have 3 of the wooden casks and try to have a rotation in each. Last 3L I have I made the poor mans PVW and have it in the closet which is a common wall to the garage. Texas weather is a serious mood swing. It has been in there for almost 6 months now. I plan to taste is a x-mas. Although I have not had real PVW I can imagine this will be pretty tasty none the less.
    Blake – Keep up the good work and writing. I really enjoy the blog and getting the emails.

    Very interesting results, thanks for updating us. I’ve been doing similar tests and have achieved somewhat similar results although more testing is needed. I’ve always believed the “breathing” of the barrels was key to obtaining quality results but, these results lead me to think that this could be less of a factor.

    Just came across this. Great idea. Have you seen any more progress on this?

    I am trying this with a bottle of lighter fluid – errrr, I mean Inver house scotch.

    I’m trying to learn from you, and have placed my mix in the garage. I’m curious as to how much wood you use per liter of alcohol.

    I have been aging some old weller antique in a 5 liter barrel from buffalo trace for two months. I just tasted it and it seems very oakey, will that mellow with time or did I already push it too far? Didn’t expect so much change so soon

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