In the 18th century, oak casks were used to store and transport gin. Gin was originally aged in wooden barrels to give it a smooth flavor and prevent it from spoiling. However, barrel aging also imparts a subtle woodiness to the gin, which can be enhanced by using a barrel that has been previously used to age whiskey or wine. Today, many craft distilleries are barrel aging gin to create unique and complex flavors. Barrel aged gin mostly uses wine barrels now which lend a subtlety and depth of flavour that can’t be achieved by other methods. The original “jenever” which is the first iteration of what we drink as gin today, was originally a barrel aged gin.

History of barrel aged gin

Barrel aging has been around for several centuries. It’s an ancient technique first developed by the Celts way back in 350BC. The drinks were stored securely, and they could even be rolled around easily!

Later on, the method was mostly used for the distillation and aging of wine. This removed the harsh flavors of the raw alcohol while infusing the spirit with the flavour of the wood. This method was later on adopted by whiskey distillers.

This method of aging gin is nothing relatively new. Familiar with the Benedictine monks? Flash back to 11th Century Europe, because this was their method for distilling juniper berry-infused wine. It wasn’t known as Barrel-Aged Gin back then, however. The outcome was a fiery medicinal spirit simply known as “jenever.”

How is Barrel-Aged Gin different?

Barrel aging tends to tone down alcohol’s harshness. That’s the effect on wine! But for gin? The alcohol might be slightly toned down as well. But the rendered wood elevates the botanical flavour even more! The more citrusy notes mellow down while the softer floral flavours are brought out this way. In a wine barrel, the gin also borrows the wine flavours, creating a delcious complex combination of the two flavours.

You would also notice the colour. While distilled gin (London Dry style) is typically clear, Barrel-Aged Gin is pale-yellow to darker in shade depending on how long it has stayed in the barrel. It takes on the colour of the wood. That means brown to scarlet-hue spirits!

The taste of distilled gin versus Barrel-Aged Gin is also comparable. Distilled gin is more botanical-heavy. More on zest, spice, and heat. On the other hand, Barrel-Aged Gins are sweeter in some way. It is more vanilla- and caramel-tasting.

How can you drink Barrel-Aged Gin?

If you’re up for it, Barrel-Aged Gin is also perfect by itself. It’s a “sipping gin”, and that means that it’s served straight-up. You can drink it with some ice if its too strong. For other mixes, barrel-aged gin should straight out replace your London dry gin in most cases. Barrel-Aged gin goes well for cocktails that are considered “the classics.” You can try it as the main alcohol for your Martinez or Negroni. It always does well in cocktails that are usually drunk on cooler, colder days. 

You can use it as a substitute for bourbon or rye, too. Usually, the spiciness of the gin is perfectly paired with the sweeter notes from the barrel or casket. It gives a unique botanical twist to bourbon or rye-based cocktails.

Bright Night Chardonnay barrel aged gin

We have been working on our very own barrel aged gin for a while now. We’ve been aging our award-winning Wild Tasmanian gin for a few months in a local Tasmanian winery’s Chardonnay barrel and we’re just about ready to decant the gin. The delicious fragrance has started emerging already. The flavour profile should be a rich and complex blend of chardonnay fruitiness and the Wild Tasmanian Gin’s spicy notes! Stay tuned as we prepare it for its release in November 2022.


Our range of multi award winning gins

Bright Night Wild Tasmanian Gin

Capture multi award winning Wild Tasmania in your glass. Recently awarded Asia Pacific spirit of the year 2022.

$79.95 incl GST image/svg+xml Add to cart

Bright Night Pink Gin

Looks like summer sunset, tastes like strawberry sherbet. Made with Tasmanian murtis berries, try our new Pink Gin.

$99.00 incl GST image/svg+xml Add to cart

Chardonnay Barrel Aged Gin

Award winning Wild Tasmanian Gin aged in a Tasmanian Winery's Choardonnay (French Oak) Barrel

$94.00 incl GST image/svg+xml Add to cart

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