Mature Your Own Kit Bottling Note
What’s all this then? It looks like lots of fun! (Because it is...)
In this kit, you’ll find a 1 litre (well – one and a bit litres) freshly toasted American White Oak barrel of medium to heavy char, and 2 x 50cl bottles of new-make spirit (made entirely from Malted Barley).
Directions: Put the new-make into the barrel (using the dinky little stainless steel funnel provided), wait for a few days or weeks (don't forget about them - the rate of evaporation is quite high), and enjoy! You'll get about three uses before the oak influence wanes, so you can fill 'er back up with more new-make, or something completely different, such as your favourite cocktail!
A few pointers:
First – you’ll need to give the tap a good old whack to ‘seat’ it in the barrel. Don’t go nuts and break the barrel, but ‘pushing it in’ isn’t enough.
Second – if the hoops around the barrel feel a bit loose, or there’s a bit of seepage from the cask ends when you fill it, you might want to bung a bit of hot water in before you fill it to help the wood expand and become watertight (liquor-tight?). Barrels are constructed without the use of any glue, and rely on the tension/compression of the staves against the other staves/hoops to keep them watertight.
Third – The fact that these barrels are made from Fresh Oak means that the first fill will be incredibly powerful in terms of Oak influence. You’ll be able to re-use the barrel at least two more times before the oak influence wanes.
Finally – The rate of evaporation from these puppies is quite large. The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, the surface area to volume ratio of the barrel is very high, and secondly, you’re probably not going to keep it at as low a temperature as you’d find in a warehouse in Scotland. You can expect to lose a fair old percentage per month if you’re keeping them at room temperature so keep an eye on them!
If you ever find yourself in need of some more new-make, you can simply buy more here.