Bobbing For Bourbon Barrels, DDC Goes Deep

DDC, Delaware Distilling Company, bourbon barrels, sussex county
DDC Bourbon barrels brought back from the deep … photo credit Brian Asher

As usual Zach King of Delaware Distilling Company is always working on new and innovative techniques to distill fine and unique spirits. This latest venture is right up there. He and Brian Asher, DDC’s Ambassador at Large, are taking barrels previously used to age DDC Bourbon and filling them with distilled water. Then they are placing them at a depth of seventy feet in water. Now why on earth would you sink a bourbon barrel in water? I asked the same thing. In the Cayman Islands Seven fathoms does this with full barrels of rum at a depth of forty feet. The pressure forces a lot of flavor into the product, from the used barrels. Ideally Zach wanted to use rum but they had some barrels previously used to age DDC Bourbon and decided to experiment with these to see how it turns out. They took the barrels to an undisclosed location and placed them at seventy feet deep. After a few weeks they returned and pulled the barrels.

sinking bourbon barrels, DDC, delaware distilling company
Zach King Securing the barrels at 70 feet .. photo credit Brain Asher

The results were better than Zach expected. Water had to be used due to tax purposes and possible environmental contamination with alcohol The flavors from the charred barrel itself, sugar, caramel, and bourbon were forced into the water. Zach and Brian noticed another flavor in the water and when he tested it found out there was also an alcohol content that was forced out of the barrel from the pressure of the water. An unexpected bonus that should add to the unique spirit. This water will be used to distill a small batch of bourbon that will be available a later date. I am looking forward to not only trying this new and unique approach to producing spirits, but also the name.

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Fish On!!

Rich King

scuba diving in delaware, sussex county
Going down? Taking the barrels down wrapped in plastic was not an easy task .. photo credit Brian Asher

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