466 – What’s The Impact Of Stave Seasoning and Char? with Andrew Wiehebrink of Independent Stave Company

The barrel is where the magic happens and it takes years for your whiskey to achieve it’s optimal flavor. Most of us are familiar with the standard american white oak barrel with a char 4. Yet, there are hundreds, if not, thousands of combinations that go into creating a barrel from the wood species, stave seasoning, char, toasting and how it ages based on location in a geography or a floor in a warehouse. There’s one guy that does all this research and that’s Andrew Wiehebrink from Independent Stave. This is his third time on the show and this time he brings different aging experiments for us to taste through. We taste the same whiskey from different levels of a warehouse and even the same american single malt aged in texas and scotland. We also dive into the state of the barrel shortage, our shared distain of amburana, the shift to char 1, and what new innovations are coming from the barrel and oak alternative market.

Show Notes:

  • Above the Char with Fred Minnick (@fredminnick) talks about will today’s bottles be a new dusty.
  • Talk about what stave seasoning does for the whiskey
  • Why does Kentucky have more extraction than Texas?
  • What does elevation from levels on a warehouse do to the aging process?
  • How often do you revisit experiments?
  • Does the mashbill make a difference to your experiments?
  • Would American Single Malt make more sense to use new vs used barrels?
  • What did the location differences for American Single Malt experiments make?
  • Has the barrel shortage been resolved?
  • Do you research the human element and what consumers are looking for in taste?
  • What do you think of Amburana and exotic wood species?
  • How are you smoking barrels?
  • Why is Char 1 creating a darker whiskey and are there diminishing returns?
  • Does pot vs column still play a role?
  • Where are oak alternatives heading?
  • How do you design a barrel correctly for double oaking?
  • Support this podcast on Patreon

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