Nine Rivers Distillery Shop

9PAAM – Ex Bourbon Cask


An opportunity for you to be the proud owner of an ex-bourbon cask filled with Nine Rivers Distillery whisky, which will age in our cask maturation warehouse in Longyan, Fujian Province.  Scroll down to read more and reserve your cask.



Ex Bourbon Cask — if that’s what you’re looking for then you’ve come to the right place.  If you were looking for another type of cask, then please CLICK HERE and choose one of the other cask types.

Ex Bourbon Cask

Let start with explaining what you’re signing up for here.  It’s a first-fill, never been used before (except once to mature bourbon) Ex Bourbon Cask.  The cask is hand made in the USA, has typically been toasted and charred to char level 3.


The toasting process is necessary for all casks, including an Ex Bourbon Cask.  Essentially it means that the cask is heated gently and this is done by placing the barrel over a relatively light flame to seal the wood. This has to be done to every barrel as it stops the natural saps interfering with the liquid stored in the cask. In the case of wine, beer and cider, this is usually as much that needs to be done. However, for the legal requirements of bourbon as an example, the cask also needs to be charred.

Toasting results in the oak having a dark brown colour rather than a blackened char. The slow and gentle burn means the sugars in the oak do not have enough time to caramelise. As such, the spirit is lighter in colour and not as sweet as one from a charred cask.  Toasted casks impart some nuttiness, light vanilla flavours, and some sweet notes akin to a light caramel and toffee.


Charring is when the cask is subjected to a much more intense (hotter) flame for a short period of time. This gives a layer of charcoal on the inside of the cask, which can vary in thickness depending on the amount of time that the cask is charred for.  It’s typically a process that is only available for Virgin American Oak Casks or Ex Bourbon casks.  Ex-wine casks are almost never charred.

The main purpose is that charring opens up the wood and the uneven surface increases surface area within the cask for the spirit to react with. The charcoal works as a subtle filter in the cask, removing unwanted compounds which can be created during the distillation process. Additionally charring alters compounds found in the oak so the char also influences the colour and flavour of the whisky while it matures over several years.

The intense heat caramelises the sugars in the oak which imparts a sweeter flavour along with caramel notes, vanillins and some tannins along with a deep and dark colour to the spirit.

Char Levels

Char levels refer to the length of time the interior of an oak barrel has been exposed to an intense heat source. There are generally four types of char that can be chosen for a bourbon cask and our Ex Bourbon Casks are almost always charred to level 3.  Other chars can be ordered although they will typically have a lead time.

  • Level 1 Char—15 second burn; imparts modest amount of oakiness from the cask.
  • Level 2 Char—30 second burn; imparts a more pronounced sweetness.
  • Level 3 Char—35 second burn; imparts a more spicy and earthy flavour profile, a deeper colour, vanilla and caramel notes.
  • Level 4 Char—55 second burn; also referred to as “alligator char,” as it produces a texture similar to an alligator’s skin; imparts a deep colour and a spicy flavour profile.

The Full 9PAAM Experience

  • We’re delivering a complete whisky lover’s experience as a VIP Platinum Whatever all-in inclusive price of absolutely everything. For those following along at home, that means supplying your Ex Bourbon Cask, filling your cask, storing your cask, then maturing and monitoring your whisky while it ages for up to 5 years. This also includes the cost of bottling, closures, labels and shipping to anywhere in mainland China.
  • You and up to 3 guests to come to Nine Rivers Distillery and spend half a day with one of our team who will give you a personal tour of the distillery, allowing you to get up close and personal with all aspects of production.  From taking in grain, milling, mashing, fermenting and distilling, you’ll have the access that will only be available to the very highest level of VIP guests. Maybe you’ll even meet that moggy.
  • Taste some sample expressions so you and your guests can understand the variations in finished whisky that can be created by adjusting mash bills and your choice of cask.
  • We fill TWO Ex Bourbon casks of your choice. At the end of the maturation of your whisky, you can choose your favourite of the two casks that have matured — or, if you want both, then just pay the same amount again and have two casks of whisky.
  • Every year, after each anniversary of the cask being filled, the cask owner is welcome to visit again to sample their cask.  Samples can also be sent out by post for those that are unable to visit.  The cask will also be measured for volume and ABV (“regauged” as it’s called in the industry) and certified for the cask owner.
  • Come back on bottling day and be involved in everything from disgourging, filling your bottles, putting in the stoppers, adding the capsules and sticking on the labels.  Or we do it for you if you can’t attend.  Either way, shipping the bottles to anywhere in Mainland China is included in your cost.
  • You own the cask.  You can take it home with you.  You can have it shipped (at your cost) anywhere.  Or you can donate it to local crafters who will make it into nik naks.

Reservation Deposit Only

Please note, that your purchase here is for the reservation deposit only.  You are paying 5% as a downpayment to reserve your cask.  The total cost for this is ¥60’000, therefore the 5% deposit payable now is ¥3000.

Cost Per Bottle

Assuming a 3 year maturation process, 5% annual loss to the angels share and an original casking strength of 63% ABV resulting in 240 bottles, then this is the equivalent of ¥250 per bottle.  Assuming a 5 year maturation process, 5% annual loss to the angels share and an original casking strength of 63% ABV resulting in 220 bottles, then this is the equivalent of ¥272 per bottle.

Gimme Gimme Gimme

If you want our very own Ex-Bourbon Cask then scroll back up and click on ADD TO CART.  You can then check out and pay.


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