Author Topic: 36 Gallons of Mead in a Laphroaig Barrel  (Read 420 times)

Offline joe_meadmaker

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36 Gallons of Mead in a Laphroaig Barrel
« on: July 04, 2020, 07:51:51 PM »
One of my local distilleries recently finished a batch of their bourbon in Laphroaig barrels.  I was able to get one of these barrels and fill it with mead.  The barrel is larger than I would have preferred, just a hair over 36 gallons.  So I had to get a little creative and blend quite a few meads together to get it filled up.  But I was able to get it filled and in about 4 months I'll take a first taste and see how it's doing.  There was quite a bit of good peaty aroma still coming out of the barrel.  "Good" obviously being a subjective term when it comes to peat. ;)

Here's a shot of the barrel next to my keezer.


Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: 36 Gallons of Mead in a Laphroaig Barrel
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2020, 07:38:05 PM »
The mead has been in the barrel for about 3 month, so I thought it was time to give it a try.  It's pretty good.  The blend of meads is working together better than I expected.

The barrel character is coming through a bit, but not as much as I'd like.  So I think I'm going to give it another three months and then try it again.  I'm please with the result so far though.


Offline Drewch

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Re: 36 Gallons of Mead in a Laphroaig Barrel
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2021, 07:07:05 PM »
Any updates?
Drew

The Malt Bug Homebrewery - since 2019.

Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: 36 Gallons of Mead in a Laphroaig Barrel
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2021, 08:20:52 PM »
Oh wow!  Yeah, totally forgot I had this topic started.

The barrel was emptied and all the mead moved to kegs on 11/21/2020.  So it was in the barrel just shy of 5 months.  The flavor is almost exactly what I was hoping for.  Other than honey, vanilla is probably the most dominant flavor.  One of the meads that went into the Laphroaig barrel was a 1/2 barrel of vanilla mead.  I think when I made that vanilla batch I used too many vanilla beans, and it had a bit of a medicine-like quality.  It was getting better as it aged (I think it was about 2 years old), but it worked great in the blend.

The barrel character is coming though very nicely.  You can definitely taste the peat smoke, but it's not strong enough to turn off someone who doesn't like that flavor.  I have a friend that doesn't like peaty scotch at all, but he likes this mead.

The mead doesn't look any different than the other image I posted, so I'll wait until I actually have some bottled up and will post a photo of that.  Here's an action shot from the rack to keg.  Overall I filled up a 1/2 barrel and 4 cornys.  I hope this mead holds up over time, I've got a ton of it.


Offline Drewch

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Re: 36 Gallons of Mead in a Laphroaig Barrel
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2021, 10:09:33 PM »

Nice!  I've had some bourbon-barrel-aged beers that were overpoweringly bourbon-ful; so I was wondering how the flavors came out for you.  I'm glad it turned out well.

I'm only on my second batch of mead (much smaller scale -- one-gallon batches for now -- good honey's too expensive to practice on big batches).  I'd like to try some with wood for aging at some point.

Drew

The Malt Bug Homebrewery - since 2019.