First Barrel Experiment Rolls into the Boswell Family Warehouse

Over the next four years, students at the University of Kentucky will be able to monitor the progress of eight barrels resting inside the Boswell Family Warehouse and learn about the complexities of oak maturation from the liquid that they themselves will gather and then analyze

Esters: The Unsung Heroes of The Single Barrel

Esters are fascinating little compounds in the sense that they are responsible for some of the more distinguishable and potent aromas that most of us run into on a frequent basis, not just in our glass of favorite whiskey or wine.

Climate Study

Visit a distillery anywhere in the world and you’ll likely hear your tour guide talk about the influence climate has on whiskey maturation. While there has been much speculation on the effects, I was not able to find any hard data or documentation of a proper barrel experiment aimed at studying this variable, so we decided it was time to lay the groundwork and begin our own barrel experiment.

The Lifecycle of an Experiment

At Independent Stave Company, we feel it is necessary to be on the forefront of barrel innovation. We try our best to deliver new and innovative barrels for our distilling partners on a near constant basis. The process of developing a new type of barrel takes quite a bit of time. Before we release a new type or offer a new variation on an existing barrel, we will test the idea in what we call a commercial barrel experiment.

Experimental Whiskey Library Expansion

Have we been busy at the ISC Research Center? Indeed, we have! Our experimental barrel program has grown by leaps and bounds over the past seven years. We now have over thirty different experiments covering nearly three thousand experimental barrels.

Sensory Evaluation for Aging Spirits

Sensory evaluation is one of the best parts of my job. It is as enjoyable as it is interesting and most importantly, it is absolutely necessary for quality assurance and new product introduction. Any person or any business involved with food or beverage production, whether it be alcoholic beverage production or not, should have a sensory protocol in place for evaluating experiments.

Extractive Concentration Changes During Maturation

Our last post about aging whiskey on different levels of a warehouse sparked some questions from our readers about how the results we receive from our chemical analysis relate to the overall quality of the whiskey being tested.

Warehouse Experiment

Whiskey barrel warehouses come in a variety of different styles and configurations. Palletized, dunnage, traditional rick, and all kinds of variations within. Here in Kentucky, the most common style you see is traditional rick warehouses or otherwise known as a rick house.

Char Level and Double Barreling

As coopers, we are often asked about the different char levels. Mainly, “Why are the higher char levels – Char #3 and Char #4 – the industry standard?” Much like the genesis of the charred barrel itself, there isn’t one definitive answer.

An Experiment in Barrel Size

Guest Post by Nathen Gabriel, Balcones Distilling. In 2009, Balcones Distilling released the first Texas whisky since Prohibition. With no template or rubric for how to make whisky in Texas, experimentation has always been integral to who we are as a distillery.

A Peek at Our ACSA Presentation on Blending

If you read the recent blog post about the Small Batch Toasted Barrels, you knew I was scheduled to conduct a tasting and presentation on the new collection of barrels at the 2020 American Craft Spirits Association Convention. Unfortunately, that convention has been postponed until August due to COVID-19.

Wave Stave Experiment Results

A little over four years ago, we began to experiment with a barrel now known as our Wave Stave barrel; named for the unique wave-like pattern on the interior surface of each stave. Depending on the goals of an experiment, we usually monitor the maturation for a period of four years.

Studying Maturation Dynamics with our Environmental Chamber

At Kentucky Research Center, most of our efforts are geared towards sensory analysis, customer product development and flavor discovery. However, thanks to a new piece of equipment that we acquired earlier this year, we can now study another very important aspect of barrel aged spirits: maturation dynamics.

Getting an Age-ucation at Moonshine U

Earlier this summer, we successfully completed our inaugural maturation class at Moonshine University. The new class, entitled “Age-ucation” was a joint effort by ISC and our good friends at Moonshine University.

ISC Team from Around the World Visits New Research Center

In mid-April, ISC team members from around the world convened at our new Research Center located in Lebanon, Kentucky. Attendees came from as far as Germany, France, South America, and Australia. Others represented Mexico, Asia, and the United States.

Barrel Profiling – Part II

In Barrel Profiling – Part 1, we touched on a few topics relating to the heat treatment of oak barrels. Specifically, we outlined the unique benefits of ISC’s barrel profiling system and the effects it can have on flavor development in oak-matured spirits. In this post, we will dive deeper by analyzing the results of a recent ISC experiment which utilized profiled barrels.