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Alaskan Spirits LLC

Barrels and Aging / TTB Rules

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On 9/2/2017 at 2:44 PM, indyspirits said:

Agree. How many of these "age fast / get rich" schemes have we seen come and go.  I can't fathom how you'd get a label approval (without being deceptive) as these are not an "oak container. I can't imagine one couldnt get the same effect from an open top beer keg with a few staves shoved in.


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!

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On 9/2/2017 at 6:56 PM, Foreshot said:

Ok, so let's do this. Let's start over. We've been a bit hard on Mr(s). Squarrel, myself included.  I'm doing this solely based on Squarrel's very positive responses to criticisms here. Had you have attacked your detractors I would not be doing this. To me, this means they are a vendor that will listen to their customers. That's a very good thing. We shouldn't waste the opportunity to be able to guide their product to our needs.

To the people here: Let's take this as an opportunity to help a vendor make make a better product. Instead of being negative (like me) let's try to help him/her to make something we really want and can use to make a superior and differentiated product. Also most of us started small, let's try to help him out and not call his/her baby ugly.

To Mr/Mrs. Squarrel: First - thanks being positive despite the negative comments. Most of the criticism comes from a history of products that make magical claims about aging. So far NONE have met their claims. Most don't come close, and there's a fair number that make the product taste odd. Because of this you've got a pretty high bar to cross to get anyone here to believe that your product can achieve your stated outcomes.



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!


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