Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Project Re-barrel VOB – Day one

As promised, the deed is done. 6.5 bottles of Very Old Barton Bottled in Bond dump into a new white oak, medium char barrel. As I began to pour in the bourbon, leaking started and I thought "uh oh…..bad barrel". But very soon the leaking stopped and I finished pouring in all bottles, popped in the bung and stared at the barrel for while like an idiot. So, as I said, the barrel will be placed in the backyard shed and over time, I'll pour off small samples and provide tasting notes. I kept back about 375ml as a reference bourbon of what went into the barrel and you can find tasting notes here for the standard VOB BIB. It was suggested that I keep a close eye on the barrel for the first few weeks just to make sure things are going smooth so I plan on doing that.


  1. Greg:

    Where in the shed did you put it? Do you have a shelf that is up by the roof? In the middle? on a North, South, East, or west wall? Details Man!

    This should be very interesting. BT just released some twice barreled juice that is supposed to have excellent flavor and character. This will be interesting!


  2. Don,

    I'm in the process of clearing a spot. I have some shelves in the corner of the shed out of direct sunlight. Since it's going up on a shelf, I can put it up fairly high. Now that winter is on its way in, I don't know how much change will take place since it will be more dormant through the winter.

  3. I was thinking you might want some direct sunlight. From all I have read the tops of the rickhouses can get very warm, and it helps the whiskey penetrate the wood more. I guess if you don't want as many barrel notes you would put it where there is no direct sun. I would also think you would make that decision based on the juice you put in. If it was already woody you might just want extra time and not so much heat.

  4. I'm not looking to "push" aggressive maturation but let it age at its own pace. Considering the barrel size, this should still happen fairly fast. I'm also looking to get the barrel through spring/summer of next year before pulling it, assuming it's ready. The other thought I had was cycle the barrel between the shed and my house at regular intervals to get the bourbon some exercise through the winter. I think right now I'm going to leave it in the shed and sample regularly.

  5. small barrel means lots of surfice area... I would go easy on that puppy... and save me some there big guy :)

  6. You said that your barrel has a bung. How do you plan to get into the barrel for testing the product? I have been told it is very hard to open a barrel so that you can reuse the bung.

  7. It does have a bung but also a cork tap to pour off what's in the barrel so getting at the juice is not problem.

  8. Greg:

    Here is the Bourbon Pecan Pie recipe I promised you.

    Bourbon Pecan Pie
    Original recipe by Melissa Myren (friend from our days in Pocatello)

    1½ cups corn syrup (I use white karo)
    ½ cup granulated sugar
    ¼ cup butter
    1 cup pecans (I use more)
    3 slightly beaten eggs
    1 tsp. vanilla (real)
    2 Tbsp. Wild Turkey (if using stronger flavored bourbon do not “accidently” add any extra)
    1 single pastry crust

    Preheat oven to 375.
    Prepare pastry crust, put in pie tin and store in refrigerator until needed. Do not prick holes in it.
    In saucepan mix corn syrup, sugar & butter and bring to a boil. Boil gently (uncovered) for 5 minutes. Cool slightly until it is warm or you can stick your finger in it without getting burned.
    Place pecans in the bottom of the pie shell. They should at least cover the bottom of the pan.
    In bowl combine eggs, vanilla & bourbon and mix together. Slowly pour cooled syrup mixture into eggs and beat well. Pour over pecans in pie shell.
    Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes until knife comes out clean.

    Good served with vanilla ice cream or bourbon flavored real whipped cream.

    OK, I actually called and asked my wife how do the pecans get on the top, I assumed she missed that part, and she informed me that the pecans float to the top while baking! I didn't know this, and I though perhaps you might not either. So there it is!

    Have a great Holiday.


  9. Thanks Don. I'll try it over the holidays. Cheers.