My rye whisky/spirit has been sitting in the barrel a hair over two weeks now, and after returning from a visit to the States I gave it a taste. The tastes have certainly developed considerable – there are more fruity and berry notes on the nose, there is definitely more sweetness on the palate and a lot more oak vanilla notes. The spice is still evident at the back of the palate, and hasn’t developed much more than earlier. The finish is long and enduring, with notes of sweet oak, vanilla, and some berry notes.
The oak is definitely present in the whisky, but not overpowering – yet. One fear I have with these small casks, especially when new, is that they will age the spirit too quickly. Thus, as I am seeing some positive progress in the direction I want – the spice, the fruit, and the touch of oaky vanilla sweetness – I am taking the whisky out. I have now loaded the cask up with buffalo trace new make (mash #1), and once that has completed its course I will put the rye back in to finish, essentially creating a double casked whisky. When I put the rye back in, I will measure volume and alcohol level to see how it has changed over the 2 weeks. However at this point, there is certainly a change in colour! It was clear before:
(To see the next and last post regarding this process, click here)