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Jim Beam --> Allagash Curieux --> ???

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a witty man:
5 other guys and myself are purchasing a Jim Beam barrel that Allagash used to age their Curieux (a tripel). They only used it once, and the beer was in there for 8 weeks (according to the Allagash website). My question is what we should think about brewing to fill the barrel with. We were considering an imperial porter or Russian Imperial Stout, but I'm wondering how much oak and bourbon character will be around after a batch of beer has already gone through it.

Thoughts or opinions? 

guido:
You won't get much bourbon character, mostly just flavor from the wood.  I've always wondered if it's possible to "re-charge" a barrel.  After the barrel is emptied, put in a few bottles of bourbon to slosh around inside and be absorbed by the wood.

saintpierre:
My club and I have done the exact thing.  Yesterday we filled our barrel with an Old Ale.  We all brewed the same basic beer with some extract and all-grain batches.  Before filling the barrel smelled very sweet with boozy, bourbon aromas.  Once the barrel was full the blended beer was great.  The sample we pulled off the taste already had some bourbon flavor.  I'm not sure if Allagash used this barrel or not (we assume they did).  I think we are only going to leave it in there a month or two.

We have already talked about the next batch to fill it with, most likely to be a Barleywine.  I think the first batch maybe two you will get some bourbon flavor but like guido said mostly oak.  I think a imperial porter or RIS are both great options. Really anything that can stand some bourbon and oak would be great.

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