How to Age Spirits in an Oak Barrel
Ageing spirits is a lengthy process. No two batches will be the same, and the desired result will depend on your own personal tastes.
Find out how to age spirits with this easy to follow guide.
Filling The Oak Barrel
When filling your barrel, use the supplied funnel to keep spirits from spilling on the outside of the barrel. Fill the barrel to the top until you can’t fit any more in. Tightly insert the bung. Any air inside the barrel can affect the ageing process.
How Long Do I Age My Spirits?
There is no rule for ageing your spirits. This depends entirely on your own personal tastes.
We recommend testing your aged spirits every week until it suits your taste. Use a wee dram glass to sample so you don’t get too tempted to drink the whole batch!
Once you are happy with your aged spirit, decant it in to a glass bottle(s) to stop the ageing process.
A small tabletop barrel has greater contact ratio than a professional 55 gallon barrel so can age spirits up to 10 times faster. It will vary depending on the size of your barrel, but a rough guide is that 1 month in our mini oak barrels is equivalent to 1 to 1½ years in a 55 gallon barrel.
How Do I Store My Ageing Barrel?
During ageing, it is best to store your barrel in a cool environment with a controlled temperature. The barrel needs to stay damp to minimise any evaporation.
Keep out of direct sunlight.
If you live in a warm and dry climate we recommend you wipe the exterior of the barrel with a damp cloth every week to stop it drying.
The Next Batch
Some of the flavours of your aged spirit will remain in the barrel (the Devil’s Cut), so consider this when using the barrel again.
You may want to experiment with a previously used barrel to impart different flavours in to your next batch.
Regular cleaning of your barrel will reduce its lifespan, so we recommend using separate oak barrels for separate spirits. Please see our Barrel Cleaning Guide for more information.