The Barrel Gallery

The cooperage in southern Ireland. Here lie hundreds of barrels from different distilleries. Each distillery has its own area where their barrels are stored. The natural humid climate helps to preserve the barrels and prevents them from cracking through dryness.

The obligatory preliminary outside inspection. The majority of barrels are completely watertight but only after the first fill in our warehouse can we be sure. 

When the barrels are checked for the strength and type of aromas they have accumulated through years of maturing irish whiskey. The staves and metal rings are examined for cracks.  If needs be the metal rings are secured back into their original place by hammering them in the direction of the widest surface area. Although barrels often display an uneven top this has no effect on the general quality.

Even though all these barrels have stored the same whiskey and for the same length of time each barrel has its own particular character. The trick is to pick the right ones.

After the barrels have been chosen they are photographed and marked with chalk so we know which ones we want to send to  Germany.  They are then loaded onto pallets where they are sealed with plastic so no drying can occur on the long journey.