Caribbean Rum Barrels and US Bourbon barrels on their way!

Fearless will be receiving the latest batch of used bourbon barrels it has been able to offer periodically over the past couple of years, as well as the second consignment of used rum barrels from the Caribbean island of Martinique.

The bourbon barrels Fearless can provide have become a real favourite with barrel-ageing brewers. Fearless sources these from the distillery both in good condition and super fresh, as ‘wet barrels’ sometimes still containing traces of bourbon: they are thus very aromatic. Some 200-400 barrels become available roughly on a quarterly basis, and the next batch should be available from December.

The latest consignment of rum barrels is due in January and now is the time to pre-order what are pretty special barrels limited in quantity: the Dillon rum distillery on Martinique releases only 200-odd barrels a year, and Fearless takes them all. The latest consignment has been slightly delayed by Hurricane Maria hitting Martinique in September, but the Dillon distillery itself was not badly affected.

Fearless has narrowed down its barrel suppliers to those who can be trusted to look after them and remove those no longer optimal. Dillon, like many rum distilleries in the Caribbean and Latin America, uses barrels formerly used in aging bourbon: as such, the barrels can be up to 10 years old or more by the time Dillon takes receipt of them and, in turn, nearly 15-18 years old or more when Fearless receives them.

How long will a Brewer use an aged oak barrel for? Some reuse each barrel as many times as possible while others will use them once, for one extended aging process. In Fearless’s experience, for a heavy spirit addition the beer might need to sit in the barrel for 12 months or more: for a lighter touch, perhaps three months. Whatever your needs, whether they be hop essence or bourbon, rum or wine barrels, John Fearless is there to help.

Key Takeaways

John Fearless can provide: base and specialty malt; aroma and bittering hops; a five-strong range of Humuflor hop essences; fruit and wine grape juice concentrate; fresh wine grapes; and former bourbon, rum and wine barrels

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