About a year and a half ago, I drove down and picked up a BUNCH of freshly emptied Bourbon Barrels from Willett Distillery in Kentucky. We proceeded to fill all of them with various kinds of beer to kick off our expanded barrel aging program. We even held a GOOD WOOD Fest here to share all this oaky goodness with you! (And yes, we're doing this fest again on October 24th this year.)
As you may know, to be called Bourbon, it must be aged in "new charred American Oak barrels"... so the barrels are single use. And of course, we're happy to use them a second time to age some Gratitude Barleywine, among other things. But then, once the barrels have been emptied a second or even a third time, all that bourbon-ey goodness has been depleted. So what's next?
The folks at Wigle Distillery had the same question, but theirs came with an answer... let's take the Barleywine Barrels, and age some spirits in them! So that's what they did with their Barrel Rested Gin.
If you'd like to taste the Barrel Aged Barleywine, and the Barrel Rested Gin that followed it into the exact same barrel, you have TWO opportunities to do this.
We're also bustling out a bunch of VINTAGE Gratitude Barleywine for the event at the Brewery... Bottles from 2009 and 2006 (!), and of course a bit of Barrel Aged Gratitude on draft, since that's the beer from the barrel that the Ginever went into.
But the best part is, we're not finished with these barrels yet. Now that they have been "freshened" with new spirits, we can put some beer back into them and start all over again! (That's what's already happening in the photo up at the top of this page.)
So in another 8-10 months, look for a special release of our Monkey Boy Hefeweizen that's been aged in a Gin barrel, that was once a Barleywine Barrel, that was once a Bourbon.
Barrel-ception? You bet! We can do this all day here.