After a few years making maple syrup for home use, then 15 season making syrup as a business, we have moved into the modern arena. Yesterday we opened our last barrel of bourbon barrel aged syrup from the 2017 crop, then heated and filtered it. Tomorrow we bottle it so hopefully we won’t run out before a new batch from the 2018 season is ready. To make our bourbon barrel aged maple syrup, we buy a recently emptied oak bourbon barrel. We then drain any remaining bourbon if there is any, and then we heat a batch of our syrup to about 190F and fill the oak barrel, then seat the bung. Next we spray the barrel’s exterior with water twice every day for 2 weeks, turning the barrel each time. After 2 weeks, we go to once a day for another 2 weeks. After that we do it every 2 days until we open the barrel. The syrup slowly takes up much of the bourbon flavor with little or almost no alcohol. The time needed depends on the barrel size. To date we’ve only used 5 gal and 10 gal bourbon barrels, a 5 gal takes about 3-3 1/2 months to be ready, a 10 gal takes about twice that. The larger the barrel, the longer it takes.
The bourbon barrel aged maple has proven to be our best seller.
Next we have just 1 barrel of syrup from the 2017 season, that will be packed in retail containers to hopefully last us until we start boiling in the 2018 season.
We are now checking lines and repairing as needed, we’ve had lots of high wind events since the end of 2017 production.
We plan to start tapping about Jan. 8-10, weather permitting and hope to be completely ready by late Jan.
Check back for updates, and have a great Thanksgiving.