Oak Aged Spirits

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Oak Aged Spirits

Oak aged spirits are becoming more and more popular over the last few years. Aging a spirit in oak is very common for some types of spirits, however much newer to many others.
Whiskeys are always aged in oak, which imparts much of the unique flavor of whiskey itself. Tequila and Rum are spirits that offer “silver” options that never see oak, and “gold” or “anejo” offerings that spend as much as 3 or more years in oak barrels. There are so many types of oak that can be used in this aging process that they each leave a different mark, or flavor, in the final product.
Spirits like Gin almost never use oak aging, but in the case of Rogue Pink Spruce gin and Big Bourbon Barreled gin this is not the case. Rogue Pink Spruce gin is aged in Oregon Pinot Noir Barrels for 4-6 months. This aging process gives the gin a unique wine flavor as well as a pink coloring. In terms of Big gins bourbon barreled option the flavor is entirely different. The rich robust flavors of bourbon as well as the charred smokiness of the barrels leave the gin with a very whiskey like flavor. Undertones of vanilla and toffee are also present from the aging process.
Why do certain spirits undertake this process? In order to make a unique product, it is all about defying the norms put forth before you. Some distilleries want to bridge the gap between whiskey and gin drinkers, so offering a spirit that has flavors of both is their ultimate goal. Other oak aging that has become popular within the whiskey field is further aging in different barrels than the norm. In terms of Angel’s Envy Rye whiskey, the whiskey is aged a second time in Caribbean Rum barrels to give a sweet caramelized taste to the whiskey. The goal in this case may have been to bridge the gap between whiskey and rum drinkers.
West Vail Liquor Mart offers several types of spirits, (as well as beers) that see a different type of oak aging than what is know as the standards. Please come in and ask us about what our current offerings are, as well as trying one out if you feel the urge to drink “outside the box”.