How To Barrel Age Spirits

How To Barrel Age Your Spirits

Aging spirits is a science, but creating something that tastes just the way you like it? That’s art.

It’s easy to barrel-age your favourite wine, beer, liquor or even cocktail mix. Here’s what you need to get started:

  • an Urban Barrelcured and ready to be filled
  • the spirit or cocktail mix of your choice
  • time
  • patience

1. Fill the Barrel.

Using a funnel, fill your oak barrel all the way to the top. Insert the bung and be sure to tighten it. You don’t want to leave any air inside as it can affect the aging process.

2. Set it aside.

Place your oak barrel in a cool place and out of direct sunlight. Avoid extreme temperature fluctuations—this will cause the natural wood to repeatedly expand and contract, which will reduce your barrel’s lifespan.

3. Wait

How long does the aging process take? It’s your recipe so it’s all up to you! It could take as little as 3-4 weeks to develop the taste you crave, or it could take several months in larger barrels.

A small taste test every few weeks should help you determine when the flavour is just right:

  • Remove the bung from the top hole.
  • Turn the nozzle on the spigot to fill your glass; close the nozzle.
  • Place the bung back in place and tighten.

Remember, spirits aged in smaller oak barrels will age faster. In fact, a spirit aged for a month in our 1 L barrel may look and taste like one that’s been aged twice as long in our 5 L barrel.

4. Pour Out

Happy with the flavour? Your drink is ready. Any batch will continue to mature so long as it’s kept in the barrel. To stop the aging process, decant your newly aged spirit into glass bottles. Enjoy!

Image of a barrel