At Barrels & Brews, we are not just a typical liquor store, our main focus and attraction is our barrel selections. We travel to numerous distilleries and wineries throughout the year, hand selecting private single barrels. So that we do not bias our palettes or the ultimate barrel (or barrels) selected to purchase, we taste all the private single barrels through blind tasting. This ensures that we are picking what we consider the best barrel, not just the oldest, or a specific grape varietal, recipe, or warehouse, etc., to bring to you, our customers.
You may be asking – why go through this added step, why not just sell the liquor and wine that is available at any other liquor store. Well, the main answer is that we did not want to be just an average liquor store, our many customers were looking for a unique experience, and we set out to give them what they wanted.
Through our barrel selection process, we have access to many different and unique barrels that often times are better than the widely distributed counterparts. In addition, our private barrel selecting process allows us to educate customers on the nuances of that particular barrel, and differentiate ourselves in an otherwise crowded marketplace.
Part of the education process is showing our customers how each barrel is unique due to the variety in flavor profile from barrel to barrel. Everything plays a factor in the end result of the juice from the barrel, some things that can change the flavor profile are: how high (or how low) in the Rickhouse the barrel was stored, what type of oak was used for the barrel, what temperatures did the barrel encounter while aging, the temperatures the grapes encountered during the growing season, the timing the grapes were picked from the vines, etc. We are able to educate our customers on these items because we actually selected the barrels, so we can explain what we were looking for on that particular barrel selection trip and why that particular barrel was picked over others that were available.
These barrels are then bottled and sold exclusively at our store.