Whiskey Aging: Barrel Selection
When it comes to whiskey aging, the quality of the aging barrel and how it has been prepped really counts. Our American single malt whiskeys are great examples of how a whiskey’s flavor is truly an expression of the nature of the oak barrel in which it is as aged.
The seasoning, toasting and char of that wood contributes to the whiskey’s flavor profile. Jump off here for our quick tutorial on wood seasoning and cask toasting and charring.
American Oak and the Whiskey Cask Connection
This is where the barley meets the road. How whiskey tastes certainly comes from the mash bill, but it also depends massively on the quality of, and process used to make, the aging barrel.
Like most whiskeys made in America, our barrels are made of American oak. Our barrels for the Evergreen collection were made by Independent Stave Company. They are full size, made from American white oak that was seasoned outside for at least 2 years prior to cooperage.
Heavy Toast / Light Char Aging Barrels
We selected aging barrels with a heavy toast and light char – different from a typical bourbon aging barrel that is almost always heavy char and light toast – because we wanted to give our single malt a unique spiciness and richness.
Heavily toasted barrels generally give a sharper tasting spirit and change a whiskey’s composition, incorporating fewer vanillins, and creating a toffee-sweet type taste.
Also typically a heavy char barrel is used to enhance sweetness and we believed that our specialty barley malt recipe would deliver just the right amount of sweetness on its own.
Whiskey Aging Times
Our limited edition whiskey aged in these high-quality casks for 3-5, years depending on the Batch. For Batches 2, 3 and 4, the next part of the whiskeys’ journey is the finishing cask, read more on this below.
Overall, we were delighted that the combination of our bespoke malted barley recipe and our high-toast aging barrel did indeed give a very unique sweet and spicy depth to our single malt in the Evergreen whiskey collection.
More Reading on How We Make Our Whiskey…
Want to dig a little deeper into how we made our Evergreen collection of limited edition American single malt whiskeys (Batch No. 1,2, 3+ 4)? Check out these articles on each phase of our unique approach:
- Cooking Up Our Bespoke Malted Barley Mash Bill
- Our Partnership with Westland Distillery (coming soon!)
- Whiskey Aging: Barrel Selection
- Aging climate and environment
- Our Finishing Barrel Choice: Port Wine Casks
- Slow dilution
- Bottling at the Farm (coming soon!)
- Tasting Notes and Batch No. 3 Reviews
- Purchase a bottle in Oregon and Washington
- Buy online