Last Updated on February 13, 2023 by Lydia Martin
For serious whiskey fans, you probably heard of or used whiskey aging sticks.
But for beginners, you might be confused about what this is.
If you are curious and want to know more about these aging sticks, keep scrolling as we detail what it’s for, how to use them, and what to expect with whiskey aging sticks.
What Are Whiskey Aging Sticks?
Following the Bourbon Boom, there was a wide range of products created for home aging.
Also, the term “whiskey stick” refers to the colored alcohol that gives the vial a contrast.
A whiskey stick is a type of glass vial that has alcohol in it to prevent it from freezing or condensation.
Many of these were made from oak sticks with various textured surfaces, and some were made from miniature barrels.
How To Use Whiskey Aging Sticks
1. Drop A Stick In The Whiskey
In your whiskey, drop the stick to let it soak in the alcohol for a period of time.
2. Decide How Long You Want It Soaked
Determine how long you want the aging stick to be soaked in the alcohol. All you need to do is wait for the time being until the whiskey is ready.
3. Occasionally Taste The Whiskey
This step is crucial. We suggest tasting the whiskey once every 12 hours or your preferred time frame) to monitor its flavor, depending on how long you want to age the whiskey.
4. Remove The Stick & Drink It
After the time set for the spirit to age using the stick, and you have already achieved your desired flavor or taste, you can remove the stick.
After removing the stick, it’s now ready for drinking. You can enjoy it just like how you did with your whiskeys.
What Do Whiskey Sticks Do?
Basically, whiskey sticks can enhance the flavor of the spirit in the shortest time, about 24 to 72 hours (as claimed by manufacturers).
It helps deepen the flavors of whiskeys, adding more notes and character.
It can help improve flavors, but not in a way that can improve “not-so-good-whiskeys.”
Do They Actually Work?
Yes, whiskey sticks work. But as we’ve said earlier, it ONLY helps– but you can’t rely on it to make the whiskey “better.” It still depends on the brand and type of your whiskey.
But, it works well in imparting some new flavors.
Let us tell you about our experience in using whiskey sticks for your reference:
One of the blends we tried went well but did not meet our expectations.
We used a large portion of American whiskey and blended it with some MGP 95% Rye in an attempt to make it more flavorful. We wanted to add some balance by using cherry wood.
Though it worked well and brought about some desired results, it’s not enough to impress us or consider whiskey aging sticks “as truly helpful.”
“It is true the whisky improves with age. The Older I get, the more I like it.”— Robert Black, British Author
The final result was not like adding fruit syrup, but it had a subtle effect on the flavor. The main reason was that the added texture made it more creamy.
We had initially made a stick aging blend that was very thin, but it thickened after being exposed to more liquids.
But overall, this was a modest improvement and quite good, but we still prefer the natural way to age whiskey.
Can You Reuse Whiskey Sticks?
Yes, you can reuse whiskey  sticks. However, the longer time you use the sticks, the low impact its effect on the spirit.
In short, the rate of its effectiveness decreases over time.
We suggest using it up to three times maximum to maximize its effectiveness. But it still depends on your style and preference for aging and tasting whiskey.
Why are levels called whiskey sticks?
The levels are called whiskey sticks, as the vial in the “level” contains alcohol to prevent freezing and avoid condensation.
What wood is used for aging whiskey?
The wood used for aging whiskey is oak. Most spirits are aged in oak barrels.
Can you age whiskey in any wood stick?
Yes, you can age whiskey in any wood stick, but only if you’re doing it at home.
Distilleries  can’t rely on using wood chips or staves in aging their spirits, as it can significantly impact the quality of the whiskey.
All Things Considered
Whiskey aging sticks help impart new flavors to your whiskey for a short period. But based on our experiment, you can’t expect much from it.
You shouldn’t rely on using whiskey sticks to make “not-so-good-whiskeys” into a “better” spirit.
If you want to experiment and taste a new flavor, then using whiskey aging sticks is helpful. But all in all, we still prefer the usual aging process. Cheers!
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.