A friend of ours beckoned us to The Party Source on Saturday with the lure of a special whiskey tasting in the aisle. He was right.
In the middle of the aisle was Rick Wasmund of Virginia's Copper Fox Distillery. Rick was offering samples of his Single Malt Whiskey, Rye Whiskey, barrel tastes of these, as well as the spirits (pre-barrel) samples. For a man with two whiskeys sold retail, he sure had a lot to offer. I've never been a fan of single malt, but I do love a nice rye.
The thing that caught my eye was the Distiller's Art Series (or as I call it, the Age Your Own Whiskey Kit). This kit comes with a small barrel and two bottles of the spirit. It retails for around $100, but was on sale for $89.99 on Saturday. Yeah, we bought one.
We got it home and dived in. The first step is to just fill the barrel with water and make sure it doesn't have any leaks. Once that is established (or you let the barrel slats expand with hot water to remove leaks), you can get started. It's easy, of course. You just pour the two bottles of spirits (rye, in our case) into the bung hole on top of the barrel. Firmly insert the bung and you're off. Within 4-7 months, you've got whiskey you aged your self.
It sounds silly, but I'm rather looking forward to the process. The barrel has a spigot. Every month of so, we can check in and try a sample. We'll be able to see just how much the barrel affects both the color and the flavor. The barrel is made from 100% American white oak without glue, nails, or paraffin wax. You can add ingredients to your whiskey if you want (at Wasmund's they're fond of apple wood chips), but we thought we'd play it straight the first time through. The bottle is reusable and the spirits are available at Party Source for when you start to get experimental.
Our plan right now is to check in every month and see how our whiskey is doing. We'll post regular updates on the blog, which you can check in the new Whiskey Watch category. In the meantime, I recommend getting over to Party Source and picking up your own kit. We can have our own whiskey aging club.
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