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Old 04-22-2009, 01:20 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 86

I would expect a new high quality charred oak barrel made with sap free wood would be a great way to age Rum at home.My experiences are with putting Bourbon back in barrels - or putting charred wood in the Bourbon for test purposes.

I did my first test batch of Rum recently and it seems easier to get a good outcome than with whiskey.
I started with Cruzan 2yr white Rum. In a large jar I put the Rum and charred Wild Cherry wood. It slowly turned golden brown and the spirt showed some added smoothness. Being impatient I then removed the Cherry wood and put charred White Oak pieces in - the Rum gained a wood taste and got darker relatively quickly. Within a couple of weeks it was over oaked. Not much Rum taste - just smoke, char and wood. I was able to get a taste I like by blending it with other Rums. It's still not a sipper but makes a great "smokey cocktail". A very different taste than anything available commercially.

I would suggest experimenting with something like Ball Jars and pieces of charred wood to get a sense of what flavors and characteristics you will be adding. When you get your barrel(s) make sure the wood the barrel is made from is well aged and sap free as the sap will guarantee a bitter tannin taste. I would recommend buying from a company that made barrels in the US out of American White Oak as a starting point.
Some sources;

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