Take the Time

By Ricky Tatar, original crew member

“Take the time” is our rallying cry at Cask & Crew. This “mantra” is something we reflect on in many different ways, but its origin comes from rule #1 of an unwritten whiskey rule book- Whiskey needs time with its barrel.

When distilled, whiskey enters a barrel clear. After a few months, it’s altered to a slight tinge of light brown. Fast forward to a few years in the barrel, that once clear whiskey is now a dark caramel, golden brown.

Before the whiskey goes in, whiskey barrels undergo a charring process at the barrel cooperage. By igniting the interior of the barrel for upwards of 30-60 seconds, the interior wood panels are charred and primed for flavor extraction. Charring the wood opens it up and makes the wood more porous. Plus, when the wood is broken down by heat, there are key chemical changes in the wood that would not be exposed without it. These chemical changes provide the whiskey flavor profiles like vanilla, toffee, and caramel.

Once the whiskey is added to the charred barrels, the barrel acts like a sponge. Even slight environment changes like temperature or pressure cause the wood to expand and contract… drawing the whiskey in and pushing it back out again. This is consistently introducing new desirable flavors and color to the whiskey. Very cool process.

Cask & Crew Rye blend and flavored whiskeys (Walnut Toffee and Ginger Spice) are all aged in the same way for 3 years. Our Rye Whiskey is distilled and aged in brand new American oak barrels charred with a #3 char. This means that our 53 gallon barrels were engulfed in approx. 1800 degree flames for 35 seconds. Remarkably, even 5 seconds (more or less) difference would greatly impact the flavor profile of our whiskey.

What went in as a clear, sweet, and neutral whiskey spirit, over 3 years, evolved into a complex, smoky yet caramelly and smooth, rye whiskey blend.

Not by coincidence, “take the time” also echoes in our brand voice…encouraging people to unplug, and take the time to enjoy a great glass of whiskey, and above all, enjoy the crew you share it with.

Cask & Crew Charred Oak Barrels

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