Flavouring your neutral spirit
You can add flavourings to your neutral spirit to replicate the specific characteristics of your favourite spirit or liqueur. We have a wide range of styles available in our Still Spirits flavouring range.
For some of our flavourings, it's best to let them mature for at least 1 to 2 weeks (even longer is better) to get the best out of the flavouring, especially for the spirit flavours, especially whiskies and dark rums. This gives the spirit and flavouring the opportunity to mellow and develop a more well-rounded and smooth flavour profile. Liqueur and cream liqueur flavourings can be consumed immediately (or after storing for a few hours) as the sugary base carries the flavour well.
Check before you get started whether you need a ‘base’ (mixture of sugar and modified starch that will add sweetness and mouthfeel to the liqueur) for your chosen flavouring. If a base is required, the bottle will state this.
Depending on the flavouring type, some could benefit from ageing on oak. Rums and whiskies for example can benefit from this. While we strive to lock in the best flavour profiles in our offerings, some people may want more oak of a particular kind, or just want to experiment. You can choose to age your neutral on the oak before, or after the flavouring has been added. Here you can also experiment with different amounts of oak at different times.
Follow the instructions on the bottle or sachet for mixing.
Ageing your spirit with oak
Dark spirits such as whiskey, dark rum, and brandy, are typically oaked at approximately 63% ABV, however, you may oak at a lower ABV if preferred. Many home-distillers age their spirit on oak at a rate of 10g of oak per litre of spirit. Again, you may increase or decrease the amount of oak used depending on your preference, but it is important to remember that you will usually achieve better results using smaller amounts for a longer period. The time left on oak will vary depending on the amount of oak used, especially if using a barrel.
If you age your spirit in a glass container you will almost instantly see the colour start to come through, though it takes time for all the chemical changes to occur between the alcohol and the oak.
Try leaving the alcohol to age for at least three months (tough, we know!) and then take some out, dilute to drinking ABV and taste it. You may find it’s acceptable to drink, however, try to age it for longer as you will see amazing changes happen at 6 months, 12 months, and even longer. You can even try ageing multiple batches and then try blending portions together to create something entirely new. Check out our article on how to blend cuts to learn more about this.
See our range of oak spirals and chips here.
When it comes to ageing both neutral and dark spirits, it's important to try different times and methods to find something that works for you. Through experimentation, we often find great ways to do things so our advice to you is to keep experimenting and also keep track of your different methods through ardent note taking - the last thing you want is to make the best batch you've ever made but forget what you did to get it there!