This week I will bottle more bourbon barrel aged maple syrup. This will help us stay in stock on it for the upcoming Christmas sales. In the last few seasons this has proven to be a great gift item.
My process for this product starts with fresh table grade maple syrup, it is then heated to 200-210F, filtered and pumped into a recently emptied bourbon barrel, generally a 10 or 15 gal barrel. While the barrel has been drained there is still plenty of the bourbon that is captured in the char inside the oak barrel. That char is what gives the bourbon it’s color. Once filled the barrel sets while the maple syrup takes on a tasty amount of the bourbon flavor, it takes several months to finish getting GREAT. Once done aging it is then pumped out of the bourbon barrel and into my finisher (a 2′ x 6′ propane fired Stainless Steel pan). In there the bourbon barrel aged maple syrup is heated to 190-200F and left to set a day or 2. Then it is reheated, filtered and sent to the water jacketed bottler. The water jacketed bottler has a large inner tank with a surrounding tank which is full of water. An electric heating element keeps the water at 186+/- 1 degree F which in turn keeps the syrup at the same temperature. In there the syrup is held heated for at least 16 hrs. The purpose of heating the syrup and holding it these times is to boil off any alcohol that may be in the syrup. That is needed because I do not have a license to sell alcohol, nor will I get one. Next comes the bottling, I bottle the bourbon barrel aged maple syrup in 2 size bottles, a 200ml (6.76 fl oz) and a 375ml (12.7 fl oz) glass flask type bottles. I then wax seal the caps so they are tamper proof, and besides it looks good.
I then sell the bourbon barrel aged maple syrup in single bottles as well as in full cases. The 200ml is 24 in a case while the 375ml is 12 in a case. A few customers have bought the full case for the price savings, especially as Christmas gift giving gets near.
Since I first packed my first bourbon barrel aged maple syrup in the summer of 2017, it has been a winner. In fact, in 2019 bourbon barrel aged syrup sales accounted for more than half of my sales dollar wise. It looks like the % of sales are running about the same balance between table grade pure maple syrup and the bourbon barrel aged maple syrup again in 2020. I will not know for sure until Jan which sold more. Right now pure maple syrup is ahead but Christmas sales have proven to change that in Nov and early December the last 2 years.