Making a high-quality whiskey depends too much on the right aging barrel. If you are an amateur brewer or someone who loves to make whiskey for a hobby, you might not have access to the age-old art of making whiskey barrels like the biggest of the whiskey makers do. Hence, did all the research to help find the right aging barrel. After thorough testing and consulting several experts, we reached to the conclusion that Golden Oak Barrel is first on the list of best aging barrels.
Best Aging Barrels
|Golden Oak Barrel||0.26 Gal||White Oak||Yes||Check Price|
|Personalized American Oak||.26-2.6 Gal||White||Yes||Check Price|
|Sofia’s Findings||0.26||White||No||Check Price|
|North American Barrel||0.26 Gal||White||No||Check Price|
|Red Head Barrel||5.2 Gal||White||No||Check Price|
|Deep South Barrels||0.52||White||No||Check Price|
|Cathy's Concepts||0.26-0.78 Gal||Euro-White||NO||Check Price|
1. Golden Oak Barrel With Brass Hoops – Best Oak Aging Barrel For Whiskey
- 🥃 WHY AGE YOUR LIQUORS: When your favorite drink goes into our oak barrel, things start to get interesting. The smoky...
- 🥃 THE STORY: Golden Oak Barrels are made by a team built on 4 generations of craftsman. What happens to our barrels...
- 🥃 WHY CUSTOMERS LOVE IT: Golden Oak Barrel gives you the possibility to enjoy aged liquors with unique taste at home...
Small aging barrels make a great gift, and if you are looking for an aging barrel that you can give as a gift, the Golden Oak Barrel with Brass Hoops is one of the most beautiful looking aging barrels. The Golden Oak Barrel is a company that has a team of 4 generation craftsman in barrel making. Most of the barrel use steel hoops, but it uses brass hoop which gives a great look to the barrel.
We used the same sample of whiskey that we have used for testing other barrels. And we aged it for 90 days. It also had a medium charred interior which is necessary for the aging spirit. We observed that within a few weeks, you could taste the result. According to experts, this barrel could give you one of the finest whiskey or brandy if aged properly.
We had so many oak barrels to tests; it was hard to tell the difference without any expert help. But with Golden Oak Barrel with Brass Hoops, we could straight away tell that the quality of the spirit was much finer and offered a unique taste. It is among the best oak barrels for aging whiskey.
2. Personalized American Oak Whiskey Aging Barrel – Best Custom Aging Oak Barrel
- LASER ENGRAVED PERSONALIZATION - Beautifully engraved featuring your personal attributes in stunning detail | 2014...
- AGE YOU OWN SPIRITS - Everything needed to transform inexpensive spirits to top shelf flavor in weeks, not years |...
- EASY TO USE - Simple instructions included to cure and enjoy your barrel for many years | Just pour your favorite store...
American Oak Barrel offers handcrafted aging barrel for home spirit enthusiasts. The unit is certified by American Oak Barrel. We liked the fact that the company offers 90 days warranty on the barrel. If you are not satisfied the company will replace it. We did some digging about the manufacturer and found that they employ one of the finest barrel makers in America. These barrel makers are skilled centuries-old art of coopering which means making a vessel without nail or glue.
We didn’t have that much time to mature a high-quality whiskey in our lab but what we did is we used the smallest barrel to improve the surface to volume ratio. Thus we were able to increase the aging process. However, we aged it for only 90 days. For us, it was more than enough to see if the barrel works. The caramelized inner walls of oak barrel gave that distinct smoky flavor to the whiskey. Even our expert who has been associated with whiskey making liked the quality of the whiskey.
If you cure Personalized American Oak Whiskey Aging Barrel properly and maintain the barrel, you will be able to enjoy your favorite spirit. We advise you to read the instruction properly using it for the alcohol.
3. Sofia’s Findings Custom American White Oak Aging Barrel – Budget-Friendly Aging Oak Barrel
- Handcrafted American White Oak Wood Barrel | Laser Engraved
- Black Steel Hoops | Medium Charred Interior | 3 Liters American Oak Aging Barrel | Barrel Capacity is an approximate
- Perfect to age your own spirits, whiskey, wine, beer, rum, tequila, honey, vinegar...or as Home Decoration
The Sofia’s Findings Custom American White Oak Aging Barrel is almost similar to American Oak Whiskey Aging Barrel. However, much like American oak, Sofia’s Finding does not specialize in the barrel making. This barrel manufacturer has a wide range of products made of wood. Though they do not specialize in barrel making, they have good amount of experience and expertise in using wood.
And if you don’t cure the barrel, it will leak. We tried storing spirit without curing, and there was a considerable leakage. The interior is medium charred which provides the smoky flavor to the whiskey or any other spirit you like. We stored a sample of whiskey for 90 days and observed the result. We had four experts who have their career in spirit testing, they liked the result of the aging barrel.
The manufacturer also offers a 90-day warranty on the product, and there are several variations of barrel depending on the capacity of the barrel.
4. North American Barrel American Oak Barrel – Best White Oak Aging Barrel
- MAKE YOUR OWN TOP SHELF SPIRITS: Experience high quality tastes on low budget cost with the American Oak Barrel. You can...
- NEW CRAFTY HOBBY: One you start aging your spirits, you won’t want to stop. It’s a great way to create homemade...
- BEAUTIFUL BARTOP DÉCOR: Even if you’re not into aging liquors, or you don’t even drink at all, these barrels are...
North American Barrel is another company that specializes in making barrels. They use 100% American White oak. The biggest difference in any barrel is the wood. It is the kind of oak wood they use would define the nature of the spirit you age. This particular unit has a capacity of 0.53 Gallon. It is small but beautiful. It will improve the looks of your bar.
You can age any descent spirit and make it high quality. Though the result is good, you might have to struggle with curing. It took us almost four days to make it stop leaking. Follow the user manual, if you want the best result. Another thing we didn’t like is the spigot and bung. They are not as good as the barrel itself.
If we compare the quality of the spirit after aging in different barrels, the North American Barrel’s white oak gives unique flavor which is right up there with the best whisky aging barrels.
5. Red Head Barrel Oak Barrels for Aging – Oak Aging Barrel With 5 Gallon Capacity
- Authentic 20 Liter Charred White American Oak Aging Barrel. 20L holds about 5.25 gallons
- Includes: Stand, Bung, Spigot, Instructions, Paper Funnel
- Wooden barrel stand design may vary
Red Head Barrels is one of the top manufacturers of oak barrels. We would suggest going for this manufacturer if you are looking for big 5 gallon barrels. It is no different than the barrels we have mentioned earlier in this list. Only thing is a combination of right wood, and quality construction makes it more effective when aging the large quantity of alcohol.
As far as the construction of the barrel is concerned, we like the design of it. Especially, when we checked for the leakage which usually is the case with the uncured barrel, there was hardly any. The barrel was tight, and it was ready to be used within an hour of receiving it.
6. Deep South Barrels American White Oak Barrel Whiskey Kit – Beginner’s Oak Aging Barrel Kit
- Brew Naturally Kit featuring Deep South Barrels American White Oak Barrel for Aging
- Kit includes 2-liter barrel, bung, spigot, barrel stand, 2 bottles Highland Malt Scotch Whiskey essence and instructions
- Our barrels are handcrafted by a cooper (barrel maker) and then cured (sealed) the first time by you, the user. Any...
If you are first timer experimenting your liquor, we suggest getting a Deep South Barrels American White Oak Barrel Whiskey Kit. In addition to basic things, the package also includes two bottles of Highland Malt Scotch Whiskey essence. This half gallon barrel is great for first-timers. The instructions are included in the package. And the good thing is if the barrels have any leaks after you have cured it, the manufacturer will replace the unit.
And the construction of the barrel is very good. But you will have to be careful with the spigot and the plug. When we used it for the first time, the barrel kept leaking. After an hour of curing, the leakage was reduced to moisture. Especially, while aging large amount, there was considerable moisture at the edges.
If you want a beginner’s kit, go for the Deep South Barrels American White Oak Barrel Whiskey Kit. It is not expensive compared to other aging barrels.
7. Cathy’s Concepts Original Bluegrass Barrel – Oak Aging Barrel For Bourbon
- Bluegrass Barrel engraved with single, block letter at no additional cost
- Features fitted wooden plug for top barrel, fitted wooden spigot, wooden stand, and instructions for use; water-sealed...
- Handmade of American White Oak used bourbon barrels, medium charred allowing for optimum spirit aging
Another white oak barrel that performed well in our tests is Cathy’s Concepts Original Bluegrass Barrel. The manufacturer, Cathy’s Concept, does not specialize in barrel making. They offer products that can be given as gifts. Because of this reason the barrel looks mostly as gifting piece. Before tests, we weren’t sure about the barrel itself. But it had good reviews. Many users rate it as the best aging barrels for bourbon.
The only thing you have to take care with this barrel makes sure you cure it perfectly. It would be best to read the manual before using it. Cure it until it stops leaking. It does take a few days to cure. As far as the construction is concerned, wood has a good finishing and black steel has ancient charm. Thus look alone makes it a great gift.
If you prefer aging bourbon than whiskey, you would like Cathy’s Concepts Original Bluegrass Barrel. However, it does take some time to cure before it can be used for aging spirit.
Buyer’s Guide – What to Consider While Buying Aging Barrel?
Much like creating any liquor is an art, making barrels for aging alcohol too is an art. While researching for the best aging barrels, we realized that many companies offering gift product are manufacturing aging barrels. Most of the barrels are worthless when it comes to aging spirit. However, you won’t be able to tell the difference which barrel works and which won’t. So need to be equipped with the right information, to differentiate between the fake and the real. Here are a few important factors about barrel that will help you:
If you look at each barrel, they all look the same because of the construction but there are two major differences. One is based on the wood used for the barrel and how it is treated.
All around the world for aging whiskey oak wood is used. But there are two types of oak wood that are popular. The first one is American white oak wood which is found in eastern parts of the USA and some parts of Canada. It provides a creamy and vanilla flavor to the liquor. The Second one is European white oak wood. As the name suggests, the wood comes from Europe and some parts of Russia. It is much different compared to American oak wood. It has Gallic acid which adds spiciness and bitterness to the liquor.
There are two ways oak barrels are treated before you use it—charred and toasted. In charring, process barrel is heated at a high temperature which gives it the dark black color. And charring process also caramelizes the sugar in the oak wood which gives the liquor some sweetness. The charring also produces carbon which filters the liquor and makes it smooth. All the barrels on our list are charred but the Golden Oak Barrel with Brass Hoops
Is the best-charred aging barrel. In the toasting process, wood is heated with controlled fire until the wood gets the dark brown texture. This process adds the spiciness to liquor, and the color of the liquor is also light.
Curing is a process which tightens the barrel so that there is no leakage. In the curing process, the barrel has to be exposed to liquid like water, so that wood expands and pressure is created inside the barrel. No barrel can be used without curing. When you are looking to buy the aging barrel, check the average curing time. Most of the good quality barrels require a day or two of curing time. Always check with the company and also make sure that the instruction manual is available for the barrel you are buying.
Much like any other product, warranty is important for the aging barrel. Most of the manufacturer that specializes in the making liquor barrels offer 90 days warranty. If the barrel doesn’t work or has some leakage even after the curing process, the manufacturer will replace the unit. If you are looking for barrels with warranty stick to the brands like Golden Oak Barrel, American Oak Whiskey Aging Barrel, and North American Barrel American Oak Barrel. All these brands offer 90 days warranty.
You will have several variants for the same brand depending on the size. The smallest we have tested on our list is the American Oak Whiskey Aging Barrel , and the biggest is the 5 gallon Red Head Barrel Oak Barrels for Aging. Depending on your need, you can buy any of the sizes.
How We Conduct Tests For Aging Barrels?
We began our testing process by shortlisting brands and models of aging barrels based on the reputation and sales. After thorough research, we narrowed down to 29 aging barrels. Aging spirit is a science. Hence we made sure that we hire experts who have years of experience in this field. We hired 14 experts which included, 6 barrel makers, five whiskey quality testers, and three sellers.
After we had acquired all 29 aging barrels, with the help of experts, we determined the testing parameters. Based on each parameter we designed several tests. Aging whiskey is a slow process, so we decided to dedicate 90 days for testing barrels. We used the same sample of whiskey for testing each barrel. Over 90 days, our team observed the barrel for leakage or moisture and took samples every week to check the aging process.
After we had all the test results, and expert views we asked our team to score each model based on three factors—quality, curing durability. We also asked our team to go through several user reviews to get an idea of what the existing users are thinking about the unit they are using. After we had all the scores from each team member, we calculated the overall score. Based on the overall score we were able to sort the seven best aging barrels. Here is the scorecard:
|Golden Oak Barrel||97.4||96.7||97.1||97.0||Check Price|
|Personalized American Oak||97.2||96.9||96.5||96.8||Check Price|
|Sofia’s Findings||97.1||97.1||96.2||96.8||Check Price|
|North American Barrel||96.8||96.3||97.1||96.7||Check Price|
|Red Head Barrel||96.5||96.6||96.5||96.5||Check Price|
|Deep South Barrels||96.7||96.2||96.4||96.4||Check Price|
|Cathy's Concepts||96.3||96.1||96.5||96.3||Check Price|
Making liquor at home requires you to have a good amount of experience, knowledge and right tools. With this post, you will be able to solve at least one-third of the issue. With the right aging barrel, you will have the right tool to apply your knowledge and experience. The only thing you need to do is determine how much you are willing to spend and what are your requirements. Once you are sure about that, our reviews and buyer’s guide will help do the rest.