The beauty of Oak Barrel Gin

The beauty of Oak Barrel Gin

8
min
Gin, In the Details

Barrel-aged Gin is an exciting sub-category in the centuries-old tradition of oak barrel maturing. In this article, we’re going to look at what that means.

If you have any history with drinking, then you are probably familiar with Gin and the numerous delicious cocktails that you can make with it. However, barrel-aged gin begins to leave many people perplexed? Do you drink it neat like whiskey? Do you use it in the same way as traditional Gin?

Juniper: The background behind Gin's essential botanical

Well, you can do both? In fact, it’s the additional woody notes that barrel-aged gin brings to the already botanical nature of the spirit, which actually makes it a wonderful spirit for drinking straight–something that cannot always be said about traditional gins. Or, replacing it in cocktails traditionally reserved for whiskey.


Breaking from tradition?

The concept of barrel-aged gin is not really new. However, the historical examples stem from the fact that barrels were the common vessel from transporting spirits in general. So any spirit that had to be moved from a distillery to a shop or bar would have had a tint of barrel-ageing. Following that reasoning, leaving it in a storehouse for even longer gave it more age. 

The American understanding of European spirits would have been barrel-aged by the three-months journey at sea. Therefore, most American recipes using Genever or Holland’s gin are built around a slightly barrel-aged product.

 

Arguably, the process of barrel-ageing is not too dissimilar than what is still currently done. However, one must not disregard intention. For example, let’s look at whiskey. It is purposefully barrel-aged to enhance flavour, and the same can be said for barrel-ageing gin.

Where the difference lies between barrel-aged gin then and barrel-aged gin now is that barrels and ingredients used in the past to make gin were initially relatively neutral. However, nowadays distillers are experimenting with various barrels and wood-types that add different flavours to the aged gin, such as cognac barrels, bourbon barrels and in our case oak barrels.

To give a little context of what this means at the end result, an Old Fashioned made from barrel-aged gin gives the drink a botanical flavour that whisky simply cannot offer - the time spent in oak, combining with the botanical aromas and aromas of the oak barrel itself, give the drink an absolutely unique flavour.

What makes a good Barrel-aged Gin?

In order for the barrel-ageing to enhance the flavours of a gin, there needs to be a pronounced and unique flavour to the gin in the first place. In other words, there is no use in casking rotgut.

In addition, as one would expect from a good whiskey, barrel-aged gin depends largely on the process and type of barrels being used. However, unlike whiskey, there are not many regulations that mention the specific process of ageing of gin-such as the length of time or barrel-type. Regulatory institutions like the U.S Alcohol, Tobacco, and Trade Bureau, or the corresponding EU regulations make no mention of barrel-aged gin.

So as a positive, or negative. It’s anyone’s game.


One consolation that you can rely on, however, is that barrel-aged gin requires, inherent to its name, an additionally lengthy process to make-namely the time it takes to mature in barrels. Therefore, it’s safe to say that it’s unlikely that you will find a bargain-bottle version of barrel-aged gin. When you see a gin that is barrel-aged, I think it’s safe to assume it’s of a certain standard of quality.

New twists on old classics

Aside from drinking barrel-aged gin neat, or as a replacement for traditional gin, one possibility is to add a unique twist to drinks usually made with whiskey.

It may be said that gin is no longer new, but the door is still open for experimentation. There is always more fun to have, both as a gin-maker and as a gin-consumer. For us, our own Oak Gin was a way to play with traditions usually reserved for other spirits.

 

And for you? Well, whether you’re looking for a simple way to spice up a traditional G&T or to make an ‘Old Fashioned’ a ‘New Fashioned’ by replacing the whiskey for barrel-aged gin, we strongly recommend you give barrel-aged gin ago.

The beauty of Oak Barrel Gin

8
min
Gin, In the Details

Barrel-aged Gin is an exciting sub-category in the centuries-old tradition of oak barrel maturing. In this article, we’re going to look at what that means.

If you have any history with drinking, then you are probably familiar with Gin and the numerous delicious cocktails that you can make with it. However, barrel-aged gin begins to leave many people perplexed? Do you drink it neat like whiskey? Do you use it in the same way as traditional Gin?

The beauty of Oak Barrel Gin

8
min
Gin, In the Details

Barrel-aged Gin is an exciting sub-category in the centuries-old tradition of oak barrel maturing. In this article, we’re going to look at what that means.

If you have any history with drinking, then you are probably familiar with Gin and the numerous delicious cocktails that you can make with it. However, barrel-aged gin begins to leave many people perplexed? Do you drink it neat like whiskey? Do you use it in the same way as traditional Gin?

Juniper: The background behind Gin's essential botanical