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Whisky Casks

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Whisky Casks

Postby Frank D.Scott » Fri Jan 11, 2002 3:16 pm

In all the books and pictures I have seen, as well as all the distilleries I have had the pleasure to visit why are casks laid on there side rather than stood up on end?It would appear to me that they would have a greater opportunity to roll out of place easier than if they stood upright.Are the cask ends also make from oak?
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Postby Alan » Fri Jan 11, 2002 9:17 pm

Frank,
My theory is as follows:
Casks have to be able to be accessed. When they are on their side, they can be tapped from the top, round part. If they were stacked one on top of the other, it would be impossible to get to them without punching a hole in the side and the whisky going everywhere.
Am I making sense?
Alan.
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Postby Ize » Wed Jan 16, 2002 10:50 am

Hello all,

I would also imagine that it is easier to make a good straight hole to "cover" than to bent side board. And if wanted for some reason (too big hole due to active long use of the cask or broken board because of the hole) it is easier to replace one board from the "cover" than from the bent sides. I have been told that also ends are oak, but go figure.
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Postby a4gjw » Sat Jan 19, 2002 3:16 pm

Before the days of mechanisation, the only way to move barrels would have been to roll them on their sides.
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Postby Schoolie » Wed Jan 23, 2002 10:49 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Frank D.Scott:
In all the books and pictures I have seen, as well as all the distilleries I have had the pleasure to visit why are casks laid on there side rather than stood up on end?It would appear to me that they would have a greater opportunity to roll out of place easier than if they stood upright.Are the cask ends also make from oak?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Postby Schoolie » Wed Jan 23, 2002 11:08 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Frank D.Scott:
In all the books and pictures I have seen, as well as all the distilleries I have had the pleasure to visit why are casks laid on there side rather than stood up on end?It would appear to me that they would have a greater opportunity to roll out of place easier than if they stood upright.Are the cask ends also make from oak?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Dear Mr. Scott,
My experience is more with Black Powder barrels, but the method's reasoning may well be the same. These barrels are stored on their sides that their lot numbers and designations may be more easily seen as stamped, or stenciled on the top. The barrels may also be more easily stacked in this manner, in cribs for storage. When lifting the barrels for shifting, it can be more easily done when the barrel is resting on its side. The barrel may also be more easily moved by rolling it on its side if a dolly or hand-cart is not available.
I hope that this helps.
Cheers,
MH
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Postby Don Paul » Mon Feb 04, 2002 12:42 pm

Because, by law, Scotch whisky may only be aged in used oak, it follows that the "head" or top and tail of the barrel is also made from oak.

As far as the bung hole for filling, draining and sampling is concerned, it is drilled into one of the staves and given a special name: The bung stave - who would have guessed.

For what it's worth, the 3 main sizes of barrel are Butts (500l) Hogsheads (250l) and American Standard Barrels(200l)
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