Halfway to Anniversary Bourbon

Half Way Wedding WhiskeyAs I mentioned in a past post, the Doctor and I held a whiskey unity ceremony as part of our wedding. Our families and wedding party helped us fill a 10 litter barrel with base alcohol which will eventually become (cask strength) high-rye bourbon on our first anniversary.

The instructions we got from the incredibly helpful people at Grand Traverse Distillery also included keeping a half litter back to top the barrel off later.  The theory goes that if you fill the barrel up to its maximum 10 litters all at first, if the temperature goes up later, the liquid can swell and crack he barrel resulting in a leak.  The safer option is to wait for some of the liquid to evaporate after a few months, and then pour the last half litter in to finish aging. It’s now about 6 months later, so it’s time to top off the barrel with the last half litter.

I also felt it was time to taste how things are coming along.  At this point the whiskey is technically bourbon, although it’s not done yet.  Its color and nose are coming along nicely, but unsurprisingly, it’s a bit hot on the tongue.  I added a dash of water, and it was tasting good.  I’m looking forward to tasting it when it’s done on our anniversary.

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  1. Pretty good.

    After the Wedding Bourbon we used the barrel to make Honeymoon Rye, barrel aged gin, and then age some plum beer a local brewer made with plums from our tree.

    The bourbon tasted ok at first, but it some how mellowed in the bottles after it was proofed down with distilled water. We put it in a lot of small bottles. Some we gave to our family/wedding party as gifts. Some we set aside for future anniversaries.

    The Rye was great, and we just kept it all for ourselves. It was so good very little of it is left now.

    The gin was almost great, but I left it in the barrel a tad too long and it over oaked. It’s more than fine for mixing but if I had taken it out 10 days earlier it would have been perfect over ice/etc.

    The gin barrel pum wit was… interesting. And strong.


  2. Do you have the words that were spoken explaining the ceremony to the guests?


    1. I had to transcribe it roughly from a video of the ceremony:

      “Now we have a little ceremony.

      While (Bride) and (Groom) do this, I will tell you what is happening.

      This is a ten litter barrel, mostly already filled by family and friends yesterday. The people who have brought you to here and now.
      (Bride) and (Groom) are each pouring in one bottle. (Bride)’s is Bourbon. (Groom)’s is Rye. These are the final bottles to complete the mix that will age for a year so they can enjoy it on their first anniversary.

      As you can see, clear alcohol is going in, but what will come out is something richer and much darker. It will take on the color of the oak of the barrel, not unlike the way your marriage will taken on the color of your lives, your triumphs, and your disappointments.”


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