Barrel-aged tequila blanco.
Barrel-aged dry gin.
Barrel-aged barrels, to barrel-age barrel-aged barrels.
Perhaps I should clarify. Of course, most any spirit worth its shit it aged, and even aged in a barrel, to be exact. What I’m talking about here, however, is using old whisk(e)y barrels specifically (which, naturally, retain flavors and complexities from years of soaking in whiskey) to barrel-age spirits entirely unrelated to whisk(e)y.
It’s cute, it’s novelty, and a fun little experiment that happened. But then it kept happening, and keeps happening. And then everyone started doing it, like it’s a thing to do. And it’s getting out of hand.
Perhaps it’s because I just “don’t get it” or don’t “understand”, but when you barrel age a tequila or a gin in what was formerly a whisk(e)y barrel for many months, it kind of starts to really resemble a whisk(e)y. Isn’t the point of having a range of spirits, with their particular production processes, to have, well, a range? Instead, a gin is going through a host of different processes to classify it as such (vodka + botanicals), only to basically turn it into a whisk(e)y in a few months of whisk(e)y-barrel-sitting. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t really fancy a whisk(e)y French 75. There’s a reason it’s made with gin, because the flavors don’t play with whisk(e)y. Maybe the argument here is that a whisk(e)y-barrel-aged tequila isn’t meant to replace whisk(e)y, it’s just another thing in its own right. That’s fine. You can have it. All.
Because the way I see it, if you want whisk(e)y, then drink some damn whisk(e)y. It seems like you don’t want tequila or whiskey if you order some wishy-washy formulation somewhere in the middle, the poser move of alcohols. Applicable to everything, “small batch” is not so simply synonymous with “good”. Small batch anti-freeze. Small batch Double Downs. See what I mean?
Hopefully in a years’ time the industry will realize it got a little carried away there, and whisk(e)y barrel-aged everything will join the ranks of Hit Clips and The All-American Rejects.