Going the Distance: Whiskey When We’re Dry Movie and the Art of Whiskey Aging

Going the Distance: Whiskey When We’re Dry Movie and the Art of Whiskey Aging

Whiskey When We’re Dry is a recently released western film that has found its way into the hearts of whiskey fans everywhere. Beyond its engaging story and compelling characters, the movie has sparked a renewed interest in the art of whiskey aging. In this article, we will explore the movie and the fascinating world of whiskey aging, including its history, process, and nuances.

The History of Whiskey Aging

Whiskey aging has a long and rich history, dating back to the early 18th century. The original aim of aging whiskey was to reduce its harshness and improve its overall taste. Over time, distillers discovered that aging whiskey in oak barrels provided unique flavors and aromas that were not possible with other wood types.

In the early days, whiskey was aged in new, charred oak barrels. However, as the popularity of whiskey grew, distillers started reusing barrels, which resulted in the development of more complex flavors. Today, distillers will use a variety of barrel types, including charred and non-charred, to achieve different flavor profiles.

The Process of Whiskey Aging

The process of whiskey aging involves three main components: the barrel, the whiskey, and time. Distillers will fill oak barrels with raw whiskey, which is typically around 120 proof. Over time, the whiskey will seep into the oak and extract various chemicals that provide flavor and aroma. The barrel will also impart some of its own flavors into the whiskey, including vanilla, caramel, and oak.

The time it takes for whiskey to age varies depending on several factors, including the barrel type, climate, and humidity. Generally, the longer the whiskey is aged, the more complex and flavorful it becomes. However, longer aging also means some of the chemical compounds in the whiskey will evaporate, known as the “angel’s share.”

The Nuances of Whiskey Aging

One of the most significant factors that affect whiskey aging is the climate. In warmer climates, the whiskey will evaporate quicker, while in cooler climates, it will evaporate slower. Distillers also pay attention to the humidity and air pressure since they can influence the barrel’s ability to breathe, allowing for more or less oxygen to interact with the whiskey.

Another factor that impacts whiskey aging is the type of oak used for the barrel. American oak barrels, which are commonly used in bourbon production, have a higher concentration of lactones, providing a distinct sweet and vanilla flavor. Meanwhile, European oak barrels, which are often used for Scotch and Irish whiskeys, contain more tannins, resulting in a drier and spicier flavor.

FAQs about Whiskey Aging

Q: How long does it take for whiskey to age?
A: The time it takes varies, with some whiskeys aged for as little as two years, while others are aged for over 20 years.

Q: Why do distillers reuse barrels?
A: Reusing barrels can lead to more complex and nuanced flavors, as the oak absorbs some of the previous whiskey’s flavors and aromas.

Q: What are some of the flavors and aromas found in aged whiskey?
A: Aged whiskey can have a range of flavors and aromas, including vanilla, caramel, oak, smoke, spice, and fruit.

Q: What is the ideal temperature and humidity for whiskey aging?
A: The ideal temperature is around 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit, with a humidity range of 50-70%.


In conclusion, the art of whiskey aging is a fascinating and complex process that adds depth and flavor to an already beloved beverage. Movies like Whiskey When We’re Dry help bring this process to life, showcasing the skill and dedication required to make a truly exceptional whiskey. Whether you are a seasoned whiskey fan, or new to the world of spirits, learning about whiskey aging is sure to enhance your appreciation and enjoyment of this timeless beverage.

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