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Color of Aged Rum


pndTom

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I'm aging rum in 15 gallon used bourbon barrels.  The spirit flavor profile is very nice at this point but the color of the rum is very light gold.  Almost yellow.  When I pull this from the barrel and cut it to bottle proof it's going to have even less color.  I could add a caramel coloring to achieve a more "aged" look but would prefer to avoid that.  Wondering if other's have run into this and if there's a solution for it other then caramel coloring.  More time in the barrel?  Different barrel?  It just doesn't have a very nice appearance as is.

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Used barrels have given up pretty much what they had for color addition in their first use. Switch to a new barrel. Otherwise, caramel is your other choice.

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How long?  I’ve found the smaller casks to give far more color than 53g, usually because the first use was for a short time period, and you’ve got far more surface area.

We had some rum in ex-bourbon 10g casks (used 1 year previously) that were very dark after 2 years.

We also used a low barrel entry proof to reduce the need to dilute.

Currently using 30g ex-bourbon, not nearly as fast to color, but far better in terms of balancing color & maturity.

 

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2 minutes ago, Kindred Spirits said:

Just curious, what proof are you aging at?

120.  It's only been aging for 6 mos.  Just expected it to be a little further along at this point.  Don't want to go to new barrels cause it's not the flavor profile I'm after.

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7 minutes ago, pndTom said:

120.  It's only been aging for 6 mos.  Just expected it to be a little further along at this point.  Don't want to go to new barrels cause it's not the flavor profile I'm after.

How many uses has the barrel had? Were they recharred before using them for your rum? Second use barrels typically need more time than new charred and their color will never be as strong.

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16 minutes ago, pndTom said:

120.  It's only been aging for 6 mos. 

Too short a duration to really see the impact of a second-fill cask, even if small.  Realistically, you are probably looking at another year to really see an impact to the color.  Suspect at the 1 year mark, you'd still be considering caramel color.

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