In February of 2011 Jody Moffett proposed starting a guild barrel project. The goal: to agree on a common recipe and fill a whiskey barrel with it.
The barrel was sourced from Dry Fly whiskey in Spokane, WA. The cost was $125 plus shipping. Russian Imperial Stout was decided for the recipe by a group vote, scotch/wee heavy came in a close second. Several brewers had to adjust their normal brew procedure to accommodate such a formidable recipe. Mash tuns were filled to the max, in the end 11 people contributed 55 gallons of wort to the project.
Jody and Kelly Beerman handled racking into the barrel on 5/21. The barrel was stored at Kelly’s house so management of the barrel fell to him. Within a week an additional 5 gal were added to the barrel, presumably the barrel was dry and absorbed that much.
A tasting was held on 6/26 prior to the homebrew guild meeting to asses the progress of the beer. A lot of debate went into deciding the date for the first tasting. Some preferred an earlier date while others wanted to taste well into the future. Dealing with oak aging is far from a science and depends on many factors, thus producing many opinions. At the tasting the consensus was that more time would benefit the beer. Oak character was present but lacking.
Another tasting is currently in the works. This post will be updated then and whenever a new development occurs.