Cedar Ridge 'Age Your Own Whiskey' Kit

Christmas is coming, and we have already given you a list of what we think will be the top toys for 2011, but what about the adults, more specifically those over the age of 21? How about an Age Your Own Whiskey Kit?

Cedar Ridge 'Age Your Own Whiskey' Kit
The Cedar Ridge 'Age Your Own Whiskey' Kit
Since before prohibition to the current day, the distillation of alcohol by non-licensed people has been illegal, even for private consumption. However, there are no laws forbidding the aging of pre-distilled, unaged whiskey, which is what this kit is all about. So if you know people who are maybe bored with making their own wine or beer then you need to get them one of these babies. The entire Slap the Penguin office went crazy when they saw this gem turn up for review, and I decided that we would 'road test' (bad choice of terminology) this one as a group.
This particular brand is one of the more basic versions and costs around $80-$100 and comes with a 750ml bottle of unaged whiskey, a 1 liter barrel and barrel stand. Other more expensive ($200) options come with funnels, glasses and even a second bottle of base whiskey. The instructions are clearly marked on the back of the box and this is what the instructions said:-
Prepare the barrel:
  • Fill the barrel with water & empty two or more times until the draining water is clear. This removes any charred wood debris.
  • Place the spigot in the head of the barrel. Fill the barrel with warm water. Place in a sink and fill sink with water. Let barrel sit for two hours in sink.
  • As the oak expands, "snug up" the metal hoops to ensure they are securely in place. DO NOT nail or screw in hoops as this will ruin the barrel.
  • Pull barrel from sink and place on stand. Check for leaks. If leaks occur, place back in sink and repeat process.
Add the Cedar Ridge Unaged Whiskey:
  • Pour the Cedar Ridge Unaged Whiskey into the cured barrel.
  • Top off with fresh, clean water until the barrel is full.
Age Your Own Whiskey:
  • The time your spirit ages & mellows in the barrel reflects your personal taste.
  • The small barrel size allows the alcohol to more quickly leach into the charred interior and extract the caramel and vanilla flavors and color that make whiskey grand.
  • Every two weeks, rotate your barrel 1/4 turn in either direction and sample.
  • Your whiskey is done when you say it's done.
The process of ageing from day 1 to day 60
The 'age your own whiskey' process
The following is how it actually happened in the office.
Prepare the barrel:
  • Argue over who reads the instructions and who gets their hands wet rinsing the barrel. Remind everyone who the editor and owner is and get Brad to rinse the barrel.
  • Have Brad fill the barrel with warm water and then remember to tell him to put the spigot in and stop leaking water over the floor. Fill a bucket with water because the sink is full of crap and place barrel in bucket. Hope that the bucket was rinsed after cleaning the floor.
  • Wonder what they mean by "snug up" the hoops since they feel pretty snug already and complain about having to wait for 2 hours.
  • Open the bottle and pour 4 small glasses of unaged whiskey because you are all curious what unaged whisky tastes like. Stifle a cough as the 100 proof moonshine burns from your mouth, down to your stomach and back up again, and exclaim in a manly fashion how good it tastes and that's how they drank it in the wild west.
  • Mock Tina for suggesting that the addition of coke would make it smoother, then try some more, this time with a little coke mixed in.
  • Argue again, this time over how long we should age it. Try another glass, this time with some 7UP.
  • Remove barrel from bucket, place on stand and check for leaks and make a bad joke about the small barrel being made by a 'Mini Cooper'.
Add the Cedar Ridge Unaged Whiskey
  • Pour the Cedar Ridge Unaged Whisky into the cured barrel.
  • Realise that 2 out of the 3 ounces that were left, after the four of you decided to sample the unaged whiskey, missed the hole and ended up running down the side of the barrel. Decide to top the barrel off with some of Tina's cheap-ass vodka instead.
  • Notice that the barrel was not cured after all and the son of a bitch is leaking all over the desk.
  • Give up on ageing our own whiskey, and decide to just buy our own for a fraction of the cost and considerably less hassle.
We barely got to minute 60 let alone day 60
The 'slap your own whiskey' process
Cedar Ridge 'Age Your Own Whiskey' Kit
Penguin Rating
2 Slaps - Weak
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