February 28, 2018 at 11:20 PMjamesbl

So, I have been getting into bourbon lately... So much so, that I wanted to try to turn some clear rye into something a little more palatable.  I decided to start with this:


This is your standard clear Rye Mash variant produced by Buffalo Trace.  Quite a nice start, but at this point, still tastes completely awful (trust me, I tried it).

I also have a full woodshop, which means I have plenty of white oak (and cherry) wood on hand.  What comes next is pretty simple, really.  I first started by slicing some varying sizes of oak and cherry… see that pretty wormhole, btw?


Just cutting these woods brought a very nice smell to the woodshop – especially the cherry!

Next, in order to (attempt to) replicate the charred oak barrel environment, I charred these sticks to what I would consider about a number 4 char (char details can be found pretty quickly on the Internet – such as here).  I definitely attained the alligator skin texture I was looking for.


Two of these are white oak and the other is cherry wood.

Hint:  NEVER USE SAP WOOD.  In this case, since I cut my own and have a ton of oak and cherry wood on hand, I just cut the sap out and kept only the good stuff.

Now that the hard part is done, the only thing I have left to do is bottle some up and let time do its magic.

Here’s what it looked like initially.


I must say, after only a couple of days, it started soaking up quite nicely and turned into this:


Considering this happened so quickly, I went ahead and added more clear into this bottle.

IMG_4092   IMG_4094   IMG_4093

Keen eyes will notice the cherry still floating – I think this rules out which wood is more dense, right? Smile

After talking to friends at work about the process, I decided to take 2 oz. samples each week for 1-2 months (if I can last that long!) and sample each to try to determine how long I should let the “aging” (infusion) go before it becomes smooth and tasty.

I grabbed a box of clear white 2 oz. bottles from Amazon to use for this endeavor.

Stay tuned!

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