Jason’s “Age your own” experiment results

You may recall last year I picked up Woodinville’s White dog aging kit to test test run as a novelty experiment. My apologies for the delay, but I now have the results from the experiment which ran from May 2011 until late December 2011 (my notes got buried on my desk).

Woodinville’s White dog bourbon mash was barreled at 110 proof on May 22, 2011. I tasted at various times, frequently at first, then tapering off later, but averaging about a taste every 6 weeks. On December 27th, 2011 I determined that no more time would benefit the whiskey and bottled it up. Following are the tasting notes I took down on Dec 27th after 7 months of aging:


  • Nose: Heavy on the mash notes still. Corn followed by the expected mild caramel notes imparted from wood aging. Balanced sweetness as I have come to expect from bourbons.
  • Flavour: Immediate oak and hard tannins, followed by caramel and a jarring shift into the corn mash. Heat all the way through with a trail of bitterness.
  • Finish: Fades from the distinct mash notes into caramel again, finally ending on a bitterness either remaining from the early raw/vegetative mash or imparted directly from the barrel itself.
  • Viscosity: 3
  • Boldness: 3
  • Length of story: 2
  • Personal taste: C-
  • Extraneous notes: Not a whiskey I will enjoy drinking straight. Even after 7 months in the barrel, the bitterness on the finish still stuck around and makes this dram less than enjoyable. I have noted, however, that as an aged spirit, it mixes quite well with cola for a surprisingly delightful cocktail. A solid B grade if used to mix.


After being relatively disappointed with the results, I dove in to some ideas for a second use of the barrel. My third use will be for barrel aging cocktails, likely Manhattans, but I still needed a second run distillate. Luckily, I happened upon House Spirits’ White dog whiskey bottled only at 100 proof, but made with 100% malted barley, ah, just what I was looking for…

But that’s a story for another day.



8 Responses to Jason’s “Age your own” experiment results

  1. Interesting results! This shows that there is more to maturation than just wood extraction. Some processes going on in the whisky just need their time and can’t be rushed.

    • Oliver, thanks and I completely agree! I was hoping I could out-wait the bitterness on the finish, but for some unknown reason, it just wasn’t going away. It is possible another few months would have changed it, but by then the angels would have taken far too great of a share 😉

  2. Excited in anticipation for the details on the White Dog Barley distilate. Sorry the Corn mash didn’t work for you (but I suspected as much as did you if I recall).

    • Absolutely I remember, Raz. Really, the corn mash isn’t to my liking but it was the bitter end that made it not enjoyable for me. I can at least appreciate a good bourbon sour mash even if I don’t prefer them 😉 This one just didn’t age well. The difference from week 16 to month 7 wasn’t great and I should have likely just bottled at week 16 and enjoyed it as a mixer.

      I’m presently writing up my initial notes from when I barreled up the malted barely whiskey made locally in PDX. As yet, I’ve not tasted it since I put it down… so there’s 4 months of change I am looking forward to!

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