"Is there alcohol in your syrup?"
No, but you can add your own! Our syrup is aged in charred white oak barrels that were first used to age Bourbon. The Bourbon is emptied from the barrels before our syrup begins aging. The flavors you identify with Bourbon are largely from the naturally occurring flavors of the charred white oak.
How should I store maple syrup?
Although maple syrup is a very stable product, we recommend storing our syrup in the refrigerator after it has been opened. If it is left out for a few days it is fine, but extended storage in warm conditions can occasionally cause some challenges.
Crystalization: After a long period of being opened sugar crystals can begin to form on the inside of the syrup bottle. It looks just like rock candy, which it essentially is. Some of the water in the syrup has slowly evaporated off, leaving more sugar molecules than the water molecules can hold. By adding a small amount of distilled water (start with a few drops for the mini to a half teaspoon for the half pint or pint) & warming, the sugar molecules can once again be suspended in the liquid.
Surface Mold: The University of Vermont advises, "If, after extended storage, mold should form on the surface of the syrup, the original quality can be restored. Remove the mold, heat the syrup to boiling, skim the surface, sterilize the container, and refill it with the syrup."
Where do you get your Bourbon Barrels?
How do I open the darn thing?
I noticed a variation between batches. Why does this happen?
We have the great privilege of collaborating with Central Waters Brewing Company on this project. They source the barrels, we use them to age our maple syrup for a year & then return the barrels to the brewery where they are aging a new beer in those maple soaked bourbon barrels. This will be a small batch special release, so keep your eyes peeled! The delicious just keeps on delicious-ing!
Our bottles are capped with a crown cap (like a big beer cap) and then wax dipped. Cut the wax below the cap and open it with a bottle opener. Once opened, use the attached bale by inserting the rubber gasket end into the bottle and pressing down on the wire around the neck of the bottle.
We bottle in small batches, and every batch, although the one ingredient, pure, organic Wisconsin maple syrup, is identical and it is handled the same way, produces somewhat different flavors. We are still learning about what influences this variation and here are a few things we have found.
The first one is the syrup going in. Syrup changes characteristics throughout the season, starting with a very light delicate sweetness and progressing to a more robust flavor. This is influenced by the weather at the time of harvest. We do our best to blend our whole year’s crop, but our facilities are small and some variations are still present. The next factor is the actual barrels the syrup is aged in. The wood of the barrels possesses various flavor compounds, and different characteristics come out stronger in some barrels than others. The seasonal changes the syrup experiences in the aging process also influence the flavors that result. Again we try to blend for consistency, and as we grow we will be able to blend more thorougly. A final factor in flavor variation is the temperature at which the syrup is tasted. It sounds silly, but there is a remarkable difference in flavors that are experienced in cold vs. warm syrup.
With each batch we learn more and get better at our craft. It takes time, the syrup ages for a full year, but we are confident our commitment to quality will bring increasingly excellent syrup to the table.