Search this site

Subscribe to email updates:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« Hair of the Dog | Main | Hoppy Spring! »

Homemade Whiskey (Raising My Spirits Part 2)

On New Years day I filled a 1 liter oak barrel with cheap vodka .  Now that is has had a chance to age for about four months I figured it was time to check in on the results.  Because the surface to volume ratio is so much higher in this small of a barrel, I figure the four months of aging approximates two years for a full barrel.  The results are amazing, but I wish I had started with a better quality of vodka.  It still needs to mellow a bit (it still has a hot alcohol taste and nose).  I could also charcoal filter it to smooth it out.  The color is spectacular and it smells like a typical bottle of whiskey that would have cost much more than the vodka I started with.  This would be great for mixers as-is, but I am going to try and mellow it out a bit further for sippin.

This batch filled up a 750ml bottle nicely.  The remainder of the initial liter evaporated off.  This is what distillers refer to as "the angel's share".  The bottle is a Glenlivet water bottle that I brought back from my UK trip.  I just sanitized it and poured the whiskey straight from the barrel.  The best part is that I now have a bourbon barrel I can use to experiment with aging beer in!



Reader Comments (2)

With the price of the oak barrel, the price of charcoal filters, and the time invested, I think it would be a good idea to start with a better quality spirit you would enjoy drinking on it's own.
For example, I always cook with wine that I would actually drink. The idea of using a cheap wine for cooking, and another for drinking, seems wrong to me. If you start off with an inferior product, your end result will not be as good.
That being said, you started off with Svedka, which, in my opinion, is not a bad vodka at all.
I am curious, as you mentioned your aged vodka had a hot nose and taste, do you think the alcohol content (proof) had changed as it aged? I have not read a lot about oak barrel aging, but I have heard of the evaporation- the so-called "angel's share."
Do you know if water and alcohol evaporate at the same rate at room temperature? I wonder if your aged vodka had gone up in proof, contributing to that hot taste.

April 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjerryc123

Thats a great question about the evaporation rate. I will try and find a way to measure that. To me Svedka has that hot nose when its at room temp, so I attributed it to that. Your right, served cold (as vodka should be served)Svedka is fine.

I'm with you about starting with quality. I dont cook with wine I wouldn't drink either. This initial experiment was all about testing the process. My ultimate goal is to start from grain and end up with a decent single malt!

April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDobroD

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.