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Adventures in Bourbon Oak Roasting
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 

April 1, 2020 - 3:29 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 1650
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On another thread, I discussed a diy process for roasting violin bridges.

I recently viewed how people were roasting pieces of white oak and adding them to inexpensive bourbon to make the cheap stuff more palatable.  I was in for that.


I started with a 750 ml container of Heavenly Hill Quality House Kentucky Bourbon ($10), a quart mason jar with a silicone rubber gasket, glass top, and wire retainer ($8), a piece of aluminium foil, and a 3/4” x 1-1/4” x 3” piece of white oak.


Based on the below provided chart, I wrapped the piece of oak in aluminium foil and roasted it for 4 hours at 400 f.  Once cool, the aluminum foil was removed from the wood and added to the bourbon (having been decanted into the mason jar).  This was allowed to set in a heated room (70 f) for 3 months.


I am noticing the material has a smoother taste at the end of three months and it is becoming enjoyable.

Possible Modifications

Adding a surface char to the wood with a propane torch or similar may be useful.  Daily temperature variation (such as storage in an unheated south facing sun room) may speed process.2E5251D3-BA60-496C-8CBA-30A0AE4BF00D.jpegImage Enlarger

Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal. —Earl Nightingale.


August 22, 2021 - 2:32 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 6225
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@Irv -

Holiday weekend coming up!  Many years since I had to stop drinking alcoholic beverages, but still keep the good stuff on hand for others & used to really enjoy all the cooking, prep and fuss of a good Party for Family & Friends! 

This thread reminded me of the many lean years when I was young and had to do more with much less.  

For INSTANT Bourbon enhancement, this recipe is from America's Test Kitchen's book - "Kitchen Hacks: How Clever Cooks Get Things Done".  Shake these together:

  • 750-milliliter bottle of cheap Bourbon  
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry 
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (but I can't resist Tahitian Vanilla, or good Mexican Vanilla)  
  • 1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke (some brands taste better) 

Your idea of placing the mason jar outside for a couple weeks - warm days & cool nights, sounds like a great idea for forcing the wood to absorb & release flavor better. 

Read some people have tried charring fresh or dried wood with a torch - easily could be too strong a burnt flavor, but the roasted char sounds appealing. 

I would be very curious about using roasted Cherry or Apple BBQ wood chips or combining a piece of kiln-dried wood with a good piece of wood charcoal - because the ideas is to quickly infuse flavor & maybe filter out some of the nasty. 

This made me chuckle - from "Wonder How To", here's a list of hacks for more types of alcohol. 

How to make Bad Booze Taste Better With these 10 Easy Hacks



The Grilled Citrus sounds pretty interesting! 

...think I'd try that in just about anything. 😋 

- Emily

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