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Bigger is better (...barrels)

There has been alot of talk over the years in the whiskey community about the differences between small barrels vs large barrels.  I have a few good links below for you to read through from well respected experts, so you can get more in depth information if you wish.   Long story short, smaller barrels produce inferior whiskey.  The main reason is that they have an un-ideal ratio of wood surface area to liquid volume.  The smaller the barrel is, the more charred wood surface area there is in contact with any given volume of liquid inside of the barrel....

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The Downside of Using Staves

Nothing in life is perfect, and neither are staves.  If properly done (like Beyond Barrels Bottle Aging Staves, and the staves used to make Makers 46) staves can produce excellent results, in some cases better than what could be produced with a barrel. They do, however, have their limitations. The primary limitation to using staves has to do with oxygen.  You can break down all the reactions, biological and chemical, that make up what we call "aging" into ones that require oxygen (aerobic) and ones that don't require oxygen (anaerobic).  Everybody reading this has thrown a dry stick into a...

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Guest Blog Post: President of the Charleston Bartenders Guild

John Aquino President, USBG Charleston Chapter Owner, Natural Blonde Bloody Mary Mix BS Bio-Chemistry I've been in the bar industry for 30 years this year, and I've seen all of the trends come and go, but the last 10 years have been SPECTACULAR! From molecular to the return of the classics, new tools and old ways (ice blocks, eg.), and the boom of hand crafted spirits, bitters, mixers and modifiers, it's not unlike comparing technological advances from 1900-1950 to 1951-2000. When the crazy stuff began 10 years ago, most of the innovators kept their secrets to themselves, and rightly so....

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Naturally Weathered??

Ever wondered what sets high end, expensive barrels and staves apart from lesser ones?  If Colonel E.H. Taylor's recent cured oak is any indication, naturally weathering the wood used in barrels makes a huge difference.  Industry standard for good bourbons is 6 months.  Many cheaper producers use wood that was not naturally weathered at all.  Often the wood found in consumer level, smaller barrels was never naturally weathered at all.  The CEHT Cured Oak Bourbon used wood that was naturally weathered for 12 months, which is double the industry average for good bourbon production..  The French Oak used in the...

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Updated Aged Manhattan Recipe

After extensive experimentation, I have developed an aged Manhattan recipe that I truly love.  This recipe makes 750ml - 1 liter of aged Manhattan cocktail, with a little bit of left over ingredients.  Shopping list: 1 bottle of either 4 roses yellow, small batch, or single barrel 1 french oak or cherry stave 1 375ml bottle of antica forumla sweet vermouth 1 bottle of angostura bitters Directions: 1) Build a small fire and char the bottom 1/4 - 1/3 of the stave to a medium level (level #4 char).  I recommend using tongs so you don't burn yourself.2) Rinse the...

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