View Full Version : De-Charred and Re-fired barrels

05-09-2012, 13:52
Since the Scotch whisky industry uses bourbon barrels I was wondering about the preparation processes employed. Evidently, at least some, if not all "de-char and re-fire" the barrels. I seems this would remove the majority of prior spirit influence on the new pour malt. Can anyone speak to this frequency of this type of barrel prep and the amount of wood soaked spirit left that could still add to the malt whisky flavor? Obviously, we detect bourbon or sherry or wine notes is malts but I wonder if the "de-charring and re-firing" is universal?

What about 3rd fill or more barrels?

05-10-2012, 06:28
Have heard that some Rum mfgrs. re-fire at least a portion of their barrels.
Would be interested to know what is gained. Since the red line is usually about in the middle of the wood can you get new wood flavors from the last half by re-firing and re-filling?

05-10-2012, 13:40
Perhpas they are looking to re-establish the charcoal layer more than extract any remaining flavors from the previous contents (bourbon, sherry, ...).

I suppose it is also a good technique for "cleaning up" or sterilizing a barrel that might have spoiled a bit - in the case of a wine cask, perhaps there is a bit of a vinegary taint that they can "cook out" by re-firing and still get some benefit from the used cask.

05-10-2012, 15:45
Here is an example:


Watch a video of a craftsman cooper at work on the barrel after firing.

Timing is everything....ahh...that Old Grand Dad burning away!