Bad Barrels

edited May 2021 in General

OK, I have had my first disaster making whiskey. Well maybe not the first but this is not great.

So I bought about 10 x 100L barrels and I moved 5 of them inside and the other 5 I kept in my shed. Anyway about 3 months ago it rained like crazy and when it does the floor of my shed can flood. So the barrels were sitting on their ends. So 4 of them got wet. I was super busy at the time and didn't think to dry them out straight away. Anyway after a couple of weeks I turned them over and on the damp ends there was discoloration. I put them in the sun and thought it would be OK. Anyway I filled 3 of them and after a couple of months 3 guys and me have noticed a damp moldy flavor in the whiskey. So the barrels got moldy. Now given they only cost US$60 I am not crying about the barrels but its a lot of whiskey and the flavor is not great. Its just a very minor after taste but its wet tea bag type of thing.

So my question to the group is there anyway I can rescue the whiskey. Run it through the still again? Or is it history?

Anyway boy do I feel like an idiot.


  • That’s a real problematic thing. No fix, and it’s a common enough fault that if there was a fix, it would be known.

    You can try treating heavy with carbon, rebarreling in a fresh barrel, waiting it out, then blending - but there are no guarantees. Good taster can pick out that musty funk easy. New charred oak might be a good middle ground choice.

    Teabag though, that’s different - that’s more to do with young wood tannin. You’ll need to go something like 18 months to start to see that receed.

  • @grim. I thought there was no solution. I just checked again and its not teabag but an earthy mushroom type of thing. I am going to have to give it away to my gardener. His workers will mix it with coke and be happy as a clam. I am bummed though. 300l just gone. Where I live most people are wine fanatics and so there are some pretty experiences tasters here. Not worth selling shit product.

  • I had it happen from a small ebay barrel. I thought of it as moldy books.

    No cure was forthcoming and another run through the still just intensified the moldy flavour.

    StillDragon Australia & New Zealand - Your StillDragon® Distributor for Australia & New Zealand

  • Well I checked again and one whiskey has only been in that barrel for a coupel of weeks so its barely noticable. The other two have been on teh wood for 3 months and a fried. At least its only 200l lost. But still an expensive mistake. Thanks for the feedback guys.

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