Friday, September 11, 2009

Aged Rye Chicago

My experiment to age Koval Rye Chicago is nearly complete. The first bottle is done, nicely aged in both flavor and color. I've got about half a bottle left in the barrel, which I intend to intentionally over-age, ruining it with tannins so I can learn to identify the flavor and aroma of an over-aged batch.

Because the barrels are very small (two liter barrels), the aging process was accomplished in only six weeks. In larger, standard sized barrels, the process would of course be much slower. This is because aging is largely affected by surface area. The more of the liquor touching wood, the quicker the aging will be.

This new rye whisky still retains much of its rye flavor and crispness from the original spirit, but it has now also added rich caramel and toffee tones and a broad citrus nose. Much of the original rye sweetness has dissolved away, replaced by deep woody flavor.

I like it very much!

And speaking of barrels, my three Bordeaux barrels arrived today from France! These are full-sized used wine barrels which will be employed for aging our brandy. The barrels are gorgeous, of tight white French oak, and nicely stained with red wine.

One sniff inside the barrel and you're in heaven!

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