Best Aging Barrel Reviews 2017

(Updated )
Aging barrels have been used to make wines and spirits since the Bronze Age. They’ve been the most effective tools for making even the most expensive wines and spirits. Getting the best aging barrel in this age of greater understanding of the wine aging process can be intimidating if you’re not properly guided. That’s why we’ve researched many of the best aging barrels and now bring to you those we consider the top five brands, and one featured product from each. We invite you to also consider other aging barrels by the brands we have featured.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Size
Capacity
Weight
Material
Extras
Our Top Choice
American Oak Barrel Aging Barrel
American Oak Barrel is renowned for manufacturing barrels to clients’ specifications. The vessels are specially designed to age spirits.
This barrel is simple to use since it comes with an instruction card. It has a functional spigot from which spirits can be served.
The barrels cannot be stacked with the stand.
7.5x7.5x5 inches
2 liters
4 lbs
American white oak
Funnels
Best Value
Deep South Barrels Oak Aging Barrel
Deep South Barrels deals in personalized and handcrafted items from reclaimed oak barrels and new white oak. Its aging barrels mellow liquor in just a few weeks.
The enclosed starter kit makes it easy to use, and the premium American white oak with a medium char inside ensures optimum aging of spirits.
Leaks may occur while using this aging barrel as it is cured or sealed for the first time.
7.5x6.5x6.5 inches
2.liters
3 lbs
American white oak
Barrel stand
Sofia’s Findings White Oak Aging Barrel
Sofia’s Findings produces high-quality gift items and home products. These products are usually customized and handcrafted from American white oak.
This barrel’s decorative steel hoops make it look nice as a home decoration and it is customized for the user to suit his needs after purchase.
The barrel will leak if not properly treated.
Info not provided
3 liters
2 lbs
American white oak
Steel hoops
North American Barrel Oak Aging Barrel
North American Barrel is known for hand-made oak aging barrels of high quality. The barrels are great for home distilling and the aging of wines, beer, and spirits.
This aging barrel comes with accessories and an instruction manual, making it easy to use. It is decorative and can be used as a gift.
The barrel may leak during curing.
7x7x7 inches
2 liters
1.8 lbs
American white oak
Paper funnel
My Personal Memories Mini Whiskey Barrel
My Personal Memories is particular about putting smiles on the faces of its customers. The company is centered on happiness and giving personalized gifts to family and friends.
This barrel comes with personalized free engraving, a spigot, and a stand, and is easy to use because of the accompanying instructional manual.
This barrel may leak if not properly cured.
6.5x4.5x4.5 inches
1 liter
Info not provided
Unvarnished raw oak
Barrel stand

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How Do I Choose the Best Aging Barrel?

Aging barrels, as the name implies, are used for aging spirits and wine while also adding their own flavor to their contents. It’s been proven that the most expensive wines in the world are made with oak aging. The oak barrels and the treatment given to them affect the entire winemaking process. If you want to make your own wine at home, all you really need to do is purchase one of the many aging barrels in the market. So, next time you visit a friend and are served a glass or horn of wine from a great wine chiller, savor the wine with an understanding of the interesting process it went through. Aging barrels enable you not only to age wine or spirits, but to add color and change the flavor and tannin profile of the liquid. These aging barrels are sometimes called oak casks. They come in various sizes and can be used during fermentation.

Most of the aging barrels used in the home winemaking process are made either from American or French oaks, though some are made from other European oaks, specifically Hungarian and Eastern European oak. Oak aging barrels from America predominantly come from Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and south-eastern states where oaks ideal for winemaking thrive. For the French, they prefer aging barrels made from oaks from Croatia and the Baltic region. There are fundamentally few differences between these two species of oak which we’ll discuss later. Suffice it to say that while the American oak can be serrated, its French counterpart has to be split.

In this guide we’ll explore the different flavors you can expect to get from different aging barrels depending on the oak they were hewed from and the impact the oak type has on price. Now let’s discuss some of the things you need to pay attention to when buying an aging barrel. We hope you find this both informative and interesting.
Price
Usually, the price of a product determines whether we’re going to buy it or not; yet wine lovers know that the best things in life sometimes come pricey, including wines and wine aging barrels. While you ought to be mindful of your budget, it’s also important that you focus more on getting the aging barrel that will deliver the type of flavor you want in your wine and in record time, instead of looking out for those with cheap price tags. During our research, we came across various cheap aging barrels, but we did not include them in this review as our intention is to give you information on the most functional and value-adding aging barrels.

Aging barrels have the following price ranges depending on the type of oak they were made from:
  • French Oak barrels: $300 to $3600 a barrel, depending on quality.
  • American Oak barrels: $50 to $500 a barrel, depending on quality.
  • European Oak barrels: $66 to $700 a barrel, depending on quality.
Each of these oaks delivers different flavors at different speeds.
Features
Before purchasing an aging barrel, you need to be clear in your mind about what exactly you want to achieve. What type of wine do you want to make and what flavors are you looking for? If you don’t know these things, you might end up buying a barrel that will give you the exact opposite of what you were looking for. This review will guide you to understand the features you should pay attention to so you can attain the end you have in mind. Generally, these are the four salient features to pay attention to:
  • Oak type
  • Barrel-charring
  • Temperature and humidity
  • Re-usability
Construction and Design
The fundamental difference in the type and quality of wine an aging barrel delivers to you depends on the type of oak it was made from. Each oak type delivers distinct flavors, and ages or mellows wine within a specific time frame. The American oak adds to the wine or spirit a sweeter, vanilla flavor and thus yields wines that have heavy tannins which require a shorter aging process. The American oak also reduces harshness in the wine faster than its French counterpart. This is good if the wine would age between 6 months and 12 months. The French oak ages wine more slowly, adds light sweetness and fruitiness, while yielding wines with lighter tannins and which require longer aging periods.

Barrel Charring: How much and how long a barrel has been charred or toasted affects, to a large degree, the flavor of the wine or spirit. Apart from the fact that heavily charring a barrel will produce stronger flavors and lightly charring, sweeter flavors, the chemical process which breaks down the lignin, vanillin, and tannin compounds found in the oak, gives the spirit its color. Ideally, the longer a spirit stays in a barrel, the drier it becomes. So, one strong factor to be considered when deciding to buy an aging barrel is how long it was charred. This will help you determine the type of wine or spirits that can be aged using a particular barrel.
Performance and Ease of Use
One important consideration when determining which barrel to go for is its ease of reusability and the length of time it can be used for aging wine or spirits. Good aging barrels can be used for up to ten years as long as you take proper care of the barrel. If you want to age wine in your home, you must ensure that you first cure the barrel using hot water. You must also ensure that water remains in the barrel when not in use as barrels tend to leak when kept dry for a long time.

Lastly, the climate and temperature at which a barrel is aged is critical to the kind of wine or spirits that result. In a warm climate a lot of changes take place and more components are lost. In order not to waste the content of your aging barrel, ensure you carry out the aging process at the right temperature and humidity.

What is the Best Aging Barrel?

What we attempted to do in our buying guide was to show you the most important things to consider before parting with your hard-earned money in exchange for an aging barrel. We trust that you’re well-informed now about what to look out for. Join us now as we delve more deeply into the review of the best aging barrels in the market.
Our Top Choice
The American Oak Barrel Aging Barrel is a handcrafted, laser-engraved white oak barrel, with medium toast char for perfecting aging spirits. If you’re looking for a 1-liter barrel, check out the Personalized Outlaw Kit for Tennessee Bourbon which can be engraved with your personal details.
American Oak Barrel Personalized Whiskey Aging Barrel – Available in 3 Sizes

American Oak Barrel Aging Barrel Whiskey Custom – 2-Liter


Features
American Oak Barrel was, for many years, an independent re-seller for a mid-Atlantic barrel company, after which it branched off as a premiere Oak Barrel company specializing in handcrafted oak barrels specially designed to age spirits. The company takes pride in satisfying its customers and ensures service excellence for both individual and wholesale clients.

American Oak Barrel Aging Barrel (Selling for $75.00 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a 2-liter, 4-pound, handcrafted, laser-engraved barrel made from American white oak. It features a medium toast char that perfects the aging of spirits—ten times faster than usual. The barrel can be re-used for up to 8 years. It features a functional spigot that makes serving very convenient. Included with the barrel are the aging stand, instruction card, funnels, bung, and storing tablets. This oak barrel comes with a 90-Day ‘Head to Head’ warranty/guarantee seal.

American Oak Barrel has in stock other aging barrels you may want to check out:
  • Engraved 2-Liter Charred American White Oak Aging Barrel (Patriot Punisher): The barrel is made to the highest quality standards, having been pressure-tested for leaks
  • Engraved American Oak Aging Barrel – Design 015: This 5-liter barrel can easily be stored on a bookshelf or counter, making it a beacon on the home bar
  • Engraved American Oak Aging Barrel- Design 164: Private Reserve Barrel Aged Tequila (20 Liter): Skillfully crafted from new (and not reclaimed) American white oak
  • 2-Liters | Personalized - Custom American White Oak Aging Barrel - Barrel Aged: Wonderful for aging of own spirits, whiskey, rum, beer, and tequila
Best Value
The Deep South Barrels Oak Aging Barrel is a handcrafted, 2-liter barrel that is cured (sealed) for the first time by the user and is made from premium-quality American white oak. If you’re looking for a 5-liter barrel for richer, better-tasting liquor, check out the 5L American Oak Barrel with Black Bands by Deep South Barrels.
Deep South Barrels American White Oak Aging Barrel Bourbon Kit – Available in 3 Sizes

Deep South Barrels Aging Barrel White Oak Bourbon Kit – 2-Liter


Features
Deep South Barrels is a proud Texan producer of handcrafted gifts from reclaimed oak barrels and new white oak stock. It produces oak barrels to the highest standard, upholding its longstanding tradition in American craftsmanship. The company is known for its top-quality products and how it helps customers start their own aging of liquor at home.

Deep South Barrels Oak Aging Barrel (Selling for $55.00 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a trusted 2-liter barrel that’s quite easy to use. It comes with a starter kit consisting of the 2-liter barrel and its stand, bung, spigot, two bottles of Bourbon essence, plus instructions. It’s made from premium American white oak with a medium char inside to ensure the optimum aging of spirits. This aging barrel is handcrafted and cured for the first time by the user. The Deep South Barrels Oak Aging Barrel is held together by the wood pressure and black steel bands around it.

Here are some other aging barrels by Deep South Barrels:
  • 20L American Oak Barrel with Black Bands: It characteristically improves the taste of liquor
  • Deep South Barrels Steel Oak Aging Barrel: Cheap whiskey can be made into good whiskey using this barrel
  • 2-Liter American White Oak Barrel Bourbon Kit with Cleaning Kit: Includes a barrel sterilizer for sterilization and storage
  • 2-Liter American White Oak Barrel Spiced Rum Kit: This aging barrel is great for brewing naturally- contains a two-page instruction guide, 2 bottles of spice rum essence, together with other accessories
The Sofia’s Findings White Oak Aging Barrel is a 2-liter handcrafted and customized barrel made from American white oak with black steel hoops which hold the barrel together. If you need a 10-liter barrel, kindly check out the Personalized - Custom Wine Oak Aging Barrel - Barrel Aged (10 Liters) by Sofia’s Findings.
Sofia’s Findings Customized American White Oak Whiskey Aging Barrel – Available in 4 Sizes

Sofia’s Findings Aging Barrel Personalized Whiskey Barrel – 3-Liters


Features
Sofia’s Findings is known for quality gift items and home decoration products. The items are usually personalized and engraved with a theme as provided by the buyer after purchase, and its customer and after-sales service is top-notch.

Sofia’s Findings White Oak Aging Barrel (Selling for $49.95 to 104.95 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a 2-liter aging barrel made from fine American white oak. It is handcrafted and customized to suit the user’s specifications and features black steel hoops to hold the barrel together and also looks decorative. The interior of the barrel has a medium char suitable for the aging process. This aging barrel comes with a 90-day warranty from date of purchase.

Sofia’s Findings has other aging barrels you may want to check out:
  • 5-liter American Oak Barrel | Handcrafted using American White Oak | Age your own Whiskey, Beer, Wine, Bourbon, Tequila, Hot Sauce & More by Longhorn Barrels: This aging barrel is pressure-tested for leaks under high standard conditions
  • American White Oak Aging Barrel | Age your own Tequila, Whiskey, Rum, Bourbon, Wine - 20 Liter or 5.3 Gallons: This barrel has a 20-liter capacity which is equivalent to 5.3 gallons
  • Wood American Oak Barrel/ Canteen: This is a small-sized and handy barrel, just 1/2-liter capacity
The North American Barrel Oak Aging Barrel is a functional 2-liter barrel useful for the aging of favorite spirits and can be used repeatedly to enhance the flavor of spirits in just a few weeks. If you’re searching for a 5-liter barrel, we recommend the 5L American Oak Barrel with Steel Hoops. It is another good product from North American Barrel.
North American Barrel 2-Liter American Oak Barrel with Black Hoop Bands

North American Barrel Aging Barrel Black 2 Liter Varnished


Features
North American Barrel sells some of the best quality oak aging barrels, great for home distillers and for lovers of fine spirits and whiskey. The company takes pride in its product quality and excellent customer service. The barrels come in a range of sizes for customers to choose from and they can have their details laser-engraved on them. Users can age their spirits to their own unique taste, with these barrels.

North American Barrel Oak Aging Barrel (Selling for $69.00 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a 1.8-pound, 2-liter aging barrel, hand-made from the finest American white oak. The barrels may come varnished, making it good for decorative purposes or unvarnished upon request, which is great for aging liquor. It comes with a stand, spigot, bung, paper funnel, and instruction manual. This barrel is ideal as a gift item as it is quite beautifully made. It imparts flavor to whiskey, rum, brandy, scotch, or any other spirit stored in it. The barrel is lined with black hoop bands which serve also as décor. Red head barrels are pressure-tested under high standard conditions.

Some other aging barrels by North American Barrel are:
  • American Oak Barrel with Black Hoops -1 Liter or .26 Gallon with a varnished exterior. It can come unvarnished on request
  • American Oak Barrel with Black Hoops- 2 Liter or .53 Gallons. This can make a great Christmas gift
  • American Oak Barrel with Brass Hoops- 10 Liter or 2.64 Gallons. The wood is toasted inside
  • American Oak Barrel with Steel Hoops- 10 Liter or 2.64 Gallons. This is perfect for aging spirits or home decor
  • American Oak Barrel with Black Hoops- 3 Liter or .8 Gallons. The oak is charred inside
This is a functional 1-liter barrel used to store or age spirits. It comes complete with stand, spigot, and bung and with free personalized engraving. If you’re looking for a bigger barrel, we recommend the Custom Engraved Oak Whiskey or Wine Barrel - 3 Liter - Personalized for Free with Barrel Aged Design.
My Personal Memories Personalized 1 Liter Mini Oak Whiskey Aging Barrel

My Personal Memories Aging Barrel MPM0117


Features
My Personal Memories is a family business, founded by Kristen C. in 2011. Kristen loved personalized gifts and desired to recreate the passion in her clients. It has its roots in the happiness and wellbeing of its clients. Their barrels make wonderful gifts for parties and birthdays and can be used to store all kinds of spirits.

My Personal Memories Mini Whiskey Barrel (Selling for $49.99 – Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a 1-liter barrel measuring 6.5, 4.5, and 4.5 inches. This barrel is complete with its stand, spigot, and bung. This aging barrel is made from unvarnished raw oak, has steel bands around it, and comes with instructions for use. The buyer can personalize it for free directly after purchase. It is fully functional for the aging and storing of spirits.

Here are some other aging barrels by My Personal Memories:
  • Personalized Custom Engraved Mini Whiskey Barrel: 1-liter custom-engraved barrel with shield design
  • Customized 3 Liter Oak Barrel with 2 Lines of Engraving: This is a monogrammed gift for wedding groomsmen
  • Engraved Oak Whiskey or Wine Barrel - 3 Liter - Personalized for Free with Name and Initial: This barrel makes a unique gift for a whisky or wine lover

Get the Best Aging Barrel Today!

We’re grateful that you stayed with us to the end of this review. Now, you can go ahead and make your own wine and spirits with the aging barrel that resonated most with you.

Our Top Choice
American Oak Barrel Aging Barrel
Best Value
Deep South Barrels Oak Aging Barrel
Sofia’s Findings White Oak Aging Barrel
North American Barrel Oak Aging Barrel
My Personal Memories Mini Whiskey Barrel