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Squarrel Square Barrels

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Squarrel Square Barrels last won the day on September 26 2017

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About Squarrel Square Barrels

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  1. Squarrel Square Barrels

    Barrels and Aging / TTB Rules

    Thank you for your thoughtful inquiries and takeaways here. Really, truly, very much appreciated. We’re strong believers in questioning everything (hence the question mark in the tail of the squirrel in our logo). It’s a bit ironic actually, the Squarrel business was built on the essence of questioning everything about traditional barrels. What’s the purpose of a barrel? To age and mature a spirit, to add tasty oak-y flavors, both? How much wood is actually needed to do that? Is all of it really needed, or as research has shown us- is only about 1/4 inch from each 2 inch stave (on average) creating flavor? (It’s the latter, obviously.) Can we make a beneficial impact on a natural resource by raising awareness for inefficiencies in the process? How can we help a beautiful industry become even greater? So thank you for your input and please keep checking in on us. Though Squarrel is a new addition to the industry the people behind it have been involved in different facets- from distillation of course to malting to farming to equipment design to cooperage-ing- just one of the reasons we’re so excited to bring this product to market. We want to make the process better because we’ve been there too- we’ve dealt with barrel issues, with the nuances of recipe formulation, with equipment that isn’t as perfect as it looks. We are designing this in order to make your life a slight bit easier because we understand how difficult it can be but also how rewarding it can be when it works. Squarrel is a new product that will be released soon so we do indeed plan to bring loads more information to the public as it comes together. We will have more analytical information, more sensory evaluations, more details from our focus groups and initial customers. I’ll post some of it here and will have samples at the conferences too, so stay tuned!
  2. Squarrel Square Barrels

    Barrels and Aging / TTB Rules

    Cross cut staves have been aging whiskeys since 2002! 15 years ago, Russ Karasch received his patent to cross cut wood staves so the chances are we’ve all drunk a whiskey that used some form of acetated aging methods. Hudson Bay, for example, uses Black Swan Cooperage’s cross cut barrels so I think it’s safe to say that cross-cutting is a tried and true method. No get rich quick scheme here, just an efficient use of a precious natural resource. J As for the necessary micro oxygenation, that comes solely from the effect between the oak, the spirit and the air. The oak must be wall that separates the spirit from the air so that the ‘breathing’ can take place. Oak chips will add wood flavor but only when oxygen can penetrate the spirit through the wood does the breathing- and the chemistry behind it- work to age a spirit. All that to say, however, that the increased aging rate is just one feature. The customization and the consistency are also pretty cool!
  3. Squarrel Square Barrels

    Barrels and Aging / TTB Rules

    No worries at all! Just wanted to clarify. Hope you enjoyed the sample!
  4. Squarrel Square Barrels

    Barrels and Aging / TTB Rules

    If anyone has any questions about the Squarrels please feel welcome to reach out directly and/or check out our website http://www.squarrelbarrels.com/. This is indeed a new take on a traditional process but we think you're going to have an absolute blast designing your own barrels. We think you deserve the ability to control the flavors that will suit your spirits best and we also think it's time to address the use of our limited and precious oak tree resource- so really if there is anything at all we can assist with please don't hesitate to ask. And for now just think about this- traditional barrels are built from old growth oak trees, one tree only has enough wood for a 2-5 barrels, and of that wood only about 1/3 of it is needed for flavor. On average one acre of oak produces one barrel per one year. Now I’m not saying traditional barrels aren’t beautiful because they are, and there’s certainly always something to be said for tradition. But here’s the thing: we now have the ability to make the most of the tools we have and as an industry we deserve the benefits a Squarrel can provide. The frame allows us to use the correct amount of needed wood, but it also allows for customization and for exploration.
  5. Squarrel Square Barrels

    Barrels and Aging / TTB Rules

    Oak-ing is indeed only one part of the process, and when aging in a small barrel it is important to ensure that the heart cuts are more selective. But either way, for these small 10-gallons or the 60-gallon Squarrels we’ll release in 2018, Squarrel barrels do address the amount of ‘breathing’ a barrel does. We’ve worked with universities (in Minnesota and Wisconsin so far) to get this exactly right but yes the wood in the Squarrels will indeed allow for the exact correct amount of micro-oxygenation a barrel needs. Unfortunately it’s just that traditional barrels simply use more wood than is needed.
  6. Squarrel Square Barrels

    Barrels and Aging / TTB Rules

    Squarrels do not leak, don’t be silly! We’re here to help make the process more efficient, not waste your time and energy and resources! The Squarrel frame is sealed by the wood stave and a gasket- and then you screw the stave through the bands so that it’s extra secure. It's true they have their own style but guess what- Squarrels stack together to maximize space, there’s a sample valve for easy tasting testing (no more losing a bung under a rack), and they can double as a keg for any brew-distillers or collaborators out there.
  7. Squarrel Square Barrels

    Barrels and Aging / TTB Rules

    So true. The quality is the most important part, I think we can all agree there. I’ll post some of our analytical research, including some gas chromatographics, on our website to illustrate that our 41 day old whiskey has very similar compounds to older whiskeys. The sensory analysis is just as important though of course so definitely come visit our table at ADI and we’ll share some whiskey then too!
  8. Squarrel Square Barrels

    Barrels and Aging / TTB Rules

    Was nice meeting you at the Mammoth festival, thanks for checking out the Squarrel! Just to confirm, we had a 41-Day old rye whiskey there, so it was about a month and a half old.
  9. Squarrel Square Barrels

    Barrels and Aging / TTB Rules

    The frame is reusable so you can recoup the cost in a handful of turnarounds, certainly within a 1-2 year timeframe. Plus, with cross-cut staves you’re able to age 8x faster- getting that booze out of the barrel faster, into the hands of your customers faster, selling those bottles faster, and turning a profit faster.
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