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Brophy’s Barrel


Pat Brophy, spirits specialist at The Whiskey Hotline, has a one-liter wood barrel for aging spirits and beers. Follow Pat as he experiments with wood barrel on the Binny’s Blog. -ed.

JUST FINISHED: 1997 Laphroaig
GOING IN: Casa Noble Reposado

   Continuing the experiments with the 1 liter oak barrel that I use for aging spirits and beer. This tiny barrel imparts flavors to spirits as they age. As last week’s experiment showed, the wood is still very young and fresh, imparting a lot of character over a week.

    This week I pulled the 1997 Laphroaig – an old Binny’s Handpicked bottling – out of the barrel, and compared the barrel sample with some right out of the bottle.

From the bottle: Lots of seaweed, smoke and tar on the nose, with underlying hints of malt sweetness. The palate shows the expected flavors of smoke, tobacco and leather up front, evolving to mildly sweet with hints of fruit and honey, with a quick and soft finish.From the barrel: OAK!!!! Oak sweetness fighting with smoke in the nose. With a few minutes of aeration, it moves toward a faint caramel and cereal grain. The barrel sample is more round and full than from the bottle, and definitely sweeter without losing the classic Laphroaig flavors. The finish is more dry and subdued with mild smoke. Also of note: The barrel sample has a MUCH deeper color from just one week in the wood.

   You ready for the fun part?

   I just filled the barrel with Casa Noble Reposado. Will report back soon….

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