Kickstarter is typically the greatest yard sale of solutions looking for a problems. However, every now and then you run across something interesting that catches your attention. Enter the concept of DIY whiskey aging. I had never given much thought about trying to age your own spirits at home until I saw these three current Kickstarter campaigns: DIY Mini Whiskey Barrel, Whiskey Lab, and the OKA Whiskey Tumbler.
DIY Mini Whiskey Barrel
This name of this Kickstarter project is pretty self-explanatory. Kyle Brown from Claw Hammer Supply, an online brewing and distillation equipment supplier, wanted to give everyone a chance to age their own spirits in an actual charred, white oak barrel. The goal of the DIY Mini Whiskey Barrel is to turn a pint of clear, neutral spirit into an aged whiskey in a little over a couple of weeks. On top of aging whiskey, project backers will be able to age their own wine or cocktails as well.
What I think is cool about this product is that you actually feel like you’re part of the distilling process. Sure, you’re not making spirits from scratch, but you are adding the final touch that makes it unique and special. Backers will receive their own mini barrel that you’ll have to assemble. After assembly, hydrate the barrel per the included instructors and add neutral grain spirits. After aging to taste, crack open your mini barrel and raise a glass with your friends.
A single DIY Mini Whiskey Barrel will set you back $50 and it includes free shipping in the United States. Orders are expected to ship in February of 2016 so you should be enjoying your own custom spirit just in time for St. Patrick’s Day! For more information on the DIY Mini Whiskey Barrel, check out the Kickstarter page. Don’t wait too long though! This project only has a couple of days left on it.
If you’re looking for more control over the home aging process, consider taking a look at Whiskey Lab. Unlike the DIY Mini Whiskey Barrel, Whiskey Lab allows you to select between French or American Oak as well as four different types of toast level ranging from Very Light to Heavy. It is designed more for those who are interested in the entire process of aging and want to see the spirt change throughout the process.
The Whiskey Lab features a stainless steel body and balances the liquid volume to wood surface area by using their interchangeable barrel head. Once spirits have been added and the barrel head selected, you’ll be able to see the color change as the liquid matures via the view bulb. You can also remove the bulb for easy tasting during the aging process. The Whiskey Lab holds more than 750 mL and can be reused over and over again by simply replacing the wood barrel head and starting the process over.
Backers of this project can get a Whiskey Lab for $69. This price includes one Whiskey Lab, your choice of barrel head and char level, and a notebook to keep track of your progress and tasting notes. If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, Whiskey Labs should start shipping in July of 2016. For more information or to learn more about the science of it, check out their Kickstarter page.
OKA Whiskey Tumbler
If you don’t have the time to age your own spirits, check out the OKA Whiskey Tumbler (~ $39) that is also on Kickstarter. It’s handmade from oak wood and charred inside to enhance whiskey’s best flavors. According to the project organizers, it works instantly and creates a unique tasting experience by brining out the whiskey’s best flavors. Check it out on Kickstarter.