The Age of Barrel-Aging Everything: Cut it Out

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.


There’s gin soaking in those whiskey barrels. Or more like what used to be cute little gin but is now gin wearing a backwards baseball cap that says “balla” and carrying around a skateboard in public all the time but you curiously never actually see him skateboarding.

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.


One response to “The Age of Barrel-Aging Everything: Cut it Out

  1. Pingback: Why I Keep Putting an “e” in Parenthesis, Sometimes: Whiskey and Whisky are Different Things | Day Old Salads·

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