Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Aging Koval Spirits

Last week, I started my experiment oak barrel aging a few liters of Koval spirits. I have two of new 2-liter barrels which have a nice medium char inside. On July 29th, I filled one with Koval's Midwest Wheat and the other with their gorgeous Rye Chicago.

Now, these barrels are very small, so the aging process is dramatically faster than it would be in large bourbon barrels. So, after one week, I checked the spirits, and they are already remarkably changed.

On the left, the Midwest Wheat Whisky (for now we can start to call it whisky!) has already taken on a very light color--like a very light Sauvignon Blanc. The aroma has not changed too much yet in this spirit; it is still very sweet and clear in aroma.

But the Rye Chicago Whisky, on the right, is already very different. The Rye is much darker in color, and is softening and taking on caramel and hazelnut tones in the bouquet. It tasted really nice too, very smooth yet still retaining that wonderful rye flavor. I estimate it may be already halfway done aging.

I'll continue this experiment for the next few weeks, and we'll see just how these lovely whiskies mature in the wood.


Mom said...

I noticed your aging cellar looks remarkably like your work bench!

George said...

Half aged in a week???

Scott said...

Yes, George, it's a function of surface area, so a very small barrel (2 liter) ages very fast because almost all of the spirit is touching wood simultaneously.

Dad said...

What would happen if you put vodka into the barrles?

Scott said...

Actually, in places like Poland, they do age vodka. But you never see it here. Any clear spirit, put in wood, will take on that dark brown color and woody aroma. That's just what wood does to spirits.

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