Bourbon Oak Barrel
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Bourbon oak barrels are made exclusively from American Oak, which gives the beverage a honeyed and vanilla characteristic. This flavour is imparted by natural sugars within the wood, as well as the chemical compound ‘vanillin’ that is also present in vanilla pods. Whether a barrel’s interior is charred, toasted, or both also plays a part. Charred oak wood barrels, like those used for bourbon, can contribute roasty, smoky flavors, while toasted barrels bring out sweetness.
White American Oak imparts heavy vanilla flavors, and while a lot of that flavour is infused into the bourbon that first fills the casks, enough related compounds are very much still present in the wood after emptying the bourbon. They are preferably over 50 years old. Oak barrels for aging bourbon have bubble-like cellular structures (tyloses) that bulge into the xylem cavities, thus blocking water movement. It makes the barrel wood particularly watertight, even with thinner staves, which is perfect for the mechanized oak bourbon barrel-making process used in the USA.
Sherry casks are also repurposed for aging whiskey and both European oak (Quercus robur) and American oak are used. Beyond sherry, casks that have previously contained wine, rum, or port may be used, although these are generally applied to add layers of additional flavor through a stage called finishing, when bourbon is re-casked into a secondary vessel for a final period of maturation.
In our store of oak barrels, you can find different sizes for bourbon producing for homemade use. Check the list right now! Feel confidence and success in every your starting!