Originally Posted by Freds
I was wondering if you have any advice or suggestions following your experiments with aging rum in your own barrels? I recently received my 1L barrel from Master of Malt (it's currently filled with water to swell out any leaks). I was thinking of using some (very) cheap white rum instead of vodka for the first go, to take the oak hit. Or perhaps use cheap port or sherry instead. This is a little bit cheaper than rum, and might give a bit of flavour. How have you found the rums you've aged? Any tips?
(ps. I'm new to the forum so apologies if I've missed some etiquette or technical issue)
I started with Vodka in mine (cheap supermarket own brand) and as i'm not a vodka drinker I bottled it up and gave it away as gifts for Christmas which people really seemed to like!
The El Dorado 3 I think I left in for too long, it's a lovely golden colour but the taste is overwhelmingly oakey and it's borderline ruined. After that I made the mistake of leaving it empty for a couple months, so my main tip is don't do that! I went to fill it up again with a blend of rum's i've been working on and it leaked all over my kitchen (lost about 300ml of a 4-rum mix
Since then i've re-sealed it (run a few batches of warm water through it and the wood will re-expand and seal watertight again), and i've just now refilled it with Jack Daniels to try and get back to a baseline where I can re-start my rum experiments.
After the JD I think i'll re-try the 4-blend mix, but only leave it in for a maximum of 1 month. Not sure whether it's the size of the barrel but it seems to flavour things really quickly.
If this doesn't work out then my next experiment will be to prime the barrel with Sherry to see if that differs things.
I'm not sure if there is a limited life to these barrels (the masterofmalt website seems to think you'll only get 3-4 fills out of it before losing all flavour from the oak), i'd be interested to know other peoples thoughts on if I need a new barrel.
If I do buy another one I think i'd move up to a 2.5 or 5 Litre one.