A Conversation for Scotch Whisky
razorbackrogue Started conversation Apr 19, 2008
Forgive me if this is a dumb question. Is it possible to mature bottled whisky? I have ordered some small, charred barrels anticipating buying some nice whisky to age in them (an anniversary gift idea); it now dawns on me that this may only ruin the whisky. Any information and/or advice would be much appreciated.
Anoldgreymoonraker Free Tibet Posted Apr 19, 2008
Whisky Posted Apr 21, 2008
First off, if the barrels have been lacquered on the inside, which is quite often the case for 'ornamental' barrels then you'll get absolutely no benefit from putting the whisky in them.
Secondly, you're highly unlikely to improve it...
Whisky is aged at its natural strength, 65-70 %ABV and then reduced to 40% for bottling, it looses alcohol throughout the aging process...
So, if you put 40% whisky into a barrel it's going to come out a lot weaker.
The only way around this would be to buy cask strength whisky to put into your barrel - which is the extremely expensive option.
However, if you think about it, cask-strength bottlings are generally the distillery's rolls-royce product... All their expertise (or the expertise of independant bottlers) goes into choosing the right cask at the right age to produce the best possible product... Do you really think you can improve on that?
Then, there's the storage process... Do you have access to a damp, earth-floored cellar? If not - forget it... Leave a barrel in a centrally-heated house and it'll be empty in six months.
Oh, and if you do have access to a cellar, do you have the right legally to store large quantities of highly inflammable liquid in it?
I could come up with half a dozen additional reasons for saying this is a _bad_ idea, but hopefully you've got the message
You know, if you really wanted to do this - there are several organisations/companies around who act as brokers - you can actually buy a 'real' barrel full of whisky from them and have the distillery age it/bottle it for you.
razorbackrogue Posted Apr 21, 2008
Thank you so much for the replies. I will buy some nice whisky, leave it in the bottle, and use the barrels for vinegar making.
I'm sure once I had given the gifts to my husband he would have known that my projected aging process would be a bad idea. However, knowing this ahead of time, I save some face. Cheers.
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