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Ask a Whiskey Pro: What Is a Honey Barrel?

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  • Ask a Whiskey Pro: What Is a Honey Barrel?

    So what does this sticky name mean? Contrary to how it sounds, the term honey barrel is not actually a reference to honey as an ingredient. Even though many distilleries are experimenting with using honey in their barrel aging process, the phrase refers to the quality of the whiskey itself. “If you are tasting through barrels, you might find one that is sweet but lacking spice or another that is lacking depth,” explains whiskey pro Blake Riber, owner of Seelbach’s online craft whiskey shop and founder of the renowned bourbon blog Bourbonr “[In that case], you would usually find the complementary barrel to blend it with that would help fill in those pieces of the puzzle. Occasionally, you will come across a barrel that offers all of these things, is well-balanced, and drinks incredibly well on its own. This is a honey barrel.” Essentially, whiskey pros will use this term to signify that they found an outstanding barrel with a complete and compelling flavor profile, making it ideal for a single-barrel bottling.
    When it comes to single-barrel whiskey-making, the term "honey barrel" is one of the most commonly used, yet often misunderstood, terms.
    Banjo Bandolas
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