Sunday, November 13, 2011

Barrel aged Manhattan

Recipe for my very first batch of barrel-aged Manhattans:
600 ml Four Roses Bourbon
300 ml Noily Pratt Sweet Vermouth
30 ml Angostura Bitters
So, I siphoned off one drink worth of Manhattans prior to putting about 1L into the barrel. It is a very good drink without aging, I must say. A little sweeter than I am accustomed to, definitely some caramel from the bourbon and more than a hint of earthiness from the sweet vermouth. Also I used a little more Angostura bitters than usual, so there is certainly a very herbal balance, especially on the back end. Nice feel in the mouth and lingers with alcohol for a few seconds after it goes down.
Fast forward 36 days. An unqualified success! The result is a robust Manhattan with a distinct yet mild wood flavor and aroma, but nothing that overpowers the essence of the drink. It is still very clearly a Manhattan. Otherwise, the flavors have melded together nicely and it goes down very smooth. The initial rough edges have definitely smoothed out.  The wood is a little stronger towards the back end, right before the finish. Still a little concerned about the bitters-probably too much in this batch but I’ll remedy that in the next batch.  Also, I'll probably leave the next batch in the barrel a bit longer so that it picks up even more of the wood.


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