How to Age Your Own Whiskey


Bourbon whiskey is a barrel-aged distilled beverage common in the United States. Kentucky is the birthplace of Bourbon, distilling about 95% of the world’s supply. It has the perfect natural mix of climate, conditions, and pure limestone water, ideal for crafting the world’s best Bourbon. The aging process is what gives whiskey its smooth, sweet flavor. Aging also makes whiskey more mouth-watering by removing some of the chemicals that make spirits taste harsh.

The following is a guide on how to age your own whiskey.

1. Purchase or Build a Kit

The most common kit used to age your own whiskey is a barrel. A charred white oak barrel is the most suitable kit used to age whiskey, as they work faster than other options. You can purchase or build one in some brewing supply stores or online.

2. Prepare the Kit

The process of preparing a barrel kit when you age your own whiskey is called hydration. It involves filling the barrel with warm water and leaving it for a while. Effective hydration will prevent your spirits from leaking out of the barrel between the staves. The hydration process could last for a few hours to a few days. Drain the water from the barrel kit once it is hydrated.

3. Add Un-Aged Whiskey and Oak Sticks

Add un-aged whiskey into the barrel and leave it to settle for a couple of weeks. Add charred sticks into the whiskey to hasten the aging process. The wood will transmit its flavor to the aging whiskey. You should open the barrel regularly to allow fresh air to replace trapped alcohol vapor.

4. Store the Barrel and Its Content Away from Direct Sunlight

You’ll want to store the barrel and its content away from direct sunlight. Sunlight affects the taste of whiskey. Increased temperature may make the charred sticks swell, making the whiskey spill out of the barrel. It would be best to store the barrel in a cupboard or closet at room temperature.

5. Strain the Drink

Once the whiskey is aged, use a cheesecloth to strain out the charred sticks. Your aged whiskey is ready to drink after straining. It should be golden brown, caramel, or dark brown. Put your whiskey in a glass or bottle for long-term storage.

There you have it: that’s how you can age your own whiskey! Aging will increase the quality and flavor of your un-aged whiskey. Your whiskey is ready for drinking once it has achieved a brownish color. When it’s ready, enjoy it in your favorite glass. To purchase your own kit and whiskey barrels, contact Red Oak Barrels today!


  1. Steve Mayes on April 19, 2023 at 6:47 am

    Hi Patrick – Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Here is the main thing to consider when you want to leave liquor in a barrel for a year. Small barrels age faster but they also evaporate faster. If you want it to last a year you will want to go with a larger barrel because it will have more liquor and less likely to disappear in one year. The other option is going with a small barrel such as 3-5 liter you will need to top off the barrel as it evaporate so keep a check on it.

  2. Patrick Talley on April 18, 2023 at 9:58 pm

    My fiancé and I want to have a whiskey blending ceremony for our wedding and we need a small barrel. We are thinking a 3-5 liter barrel will be best. We’re going to blend a 10 year bourbon with an unaged whiskey for the barrel. We’ll let it age for a year and then revisit after a year. Please let me know what barrel you think will be best for this. We need to have it by May 19th.

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