Monday, December 05, 2016

Wild Turkey Barrel House 1

This it the oldest still in use barrel house at the Wild Turkey Distillery.  Bourbon must be made in the USA, be at least 51% corn, go into the barrel at not more than 125 prof, and be aged in charred new American Oak Barrels. There is a United States Federal Regulation that says you can not label it as Bourbon, if it does not meet these standards (there are a few more, it has to be made in the USA, it cannot have anything added to it, it has to aged for a minimum of 2 years.)  

The barrel houses are traditionally several stories tall.  In the bad old days when all that was sold was nasty blended bourbons, the barrels were rotated from floor to floor to try to assure uniform aging as it will be as much as 15 degrees warmer at the top, than it is at the bottom.  The modern practice is to age in place, and for blends to contain barrels from different parts of the warehouse.  Small batches will generally contain barrels from the lower and middle levels (small batch is not defined in law or regulation.)  Single barrels are generally from lower levels - where they age cooler and slower, developing more complex flavors.  

Though the initial aging has to be not less than two years in a new charred oak barrel, past that bourbon can be aged in other woods, or in old barrels such as sherry or wine barrels.  There is nothing limiting where the aging can take place, I have a bottle to sample soon, that was aged at sea - the barrels are locked in a shipping container, put on the deck of a cargo ship and sent around the world a few times.  I'll report on that one when I open it. 

So that is my font of useless information for a Monday, 
What is yours? 


  1. Not useless at all. Fascinating. My father was a bourbon man. Me? Not so much. But I love the look, the smell, and the process.

  2. Never trust trout.