Whiskey Making 101: Why White Oak is the Only Option
Over the past few years, whiskey has enjoyed a strong revival throughout urban and suburban cities in America. From whiskey tasting events to home distillation and beyond, even folks with the most discerning palettes can’t resist the classic American charm of a barrel brew.
It follows that many novelty shops and boutique liquor suppliers are selling DIY whiskey making kits so enthusiasts can create their own unique blends. But as the popularity of scotch, bourbon, and all things whiskey continues to rise, you need to be mindful of what you’re purchasing. Depending on the type of oak a manufacturer chooses, your liquor could be subject to some complex factors that affect its flavor, texture, aroma, and more.
What is the best type of barrel to use for making whiskey?
Hands down, American white oak barrels are the only option for making premium quality whiskey. Professional distilleries would never use anything but the best, and that’s why they stay with the tried-and-true classic. An American white oak barrel is not only all natural, durable, and attractive, but it matures your liquor unlike any other wood variety. For the best combination of woody flavor, spicy aroma, and beautiful, warm whiskey color, you should always select a quality white oak cask.
What are some liquors I can make with an American white oak barrel?
Many assume that an “American” made whiskey kit will limit your distilling to the typical Southern-style Tennessee or Kentucky bourbon blend. But you can actually produce distinct, high quality whiskeys native to places all over the globe with a nice American white oak whiskey cask. A well-made piece with the right bootlegger kit lets you make Irish whiskey, highland malt scotch, wild bourbon, and more. In fact, a barrel made by a master cooper will be completely versatile, yielding amazing scotches, rums, and plenty of other spirits.
Can I use a red oak barrel for making whiskey?
Unfortunately, many dubious sellers have attempted to pass off red oak as a viable option for whiskey making. But proper distilleries know better, which is why they would never, ever use red oak for aging their premium products. Wood’s physical and chemical properties are so complex. When the liquor’s tannin and acids react with white oak’s composition, bootleggers always achieve the best result. Even the specific region from which the tree came can affect the nature of your whiskey’s color, fragrance, smokiness, and more. That’s why you should always stay with a traditional American white oak whiskey and rum making kit.
Learn more about making your own premium liquor from the experts at WineVine Imports.