A barrel is round wooden, metal or plastic container with a flat top and bottom, used for storing liquids. The casks are made of different shapes, size and design depending on the type of liquid in them. a barrel maker or cooper is a professional who focuses on making barrels. The following are the types of barrels, but are not limited to; cooperage, pipe, pins, butter churns, buckets, firkins, tierces, puncheons, breakers, among others. Ever since their discovery, barrels have been used for various purposes , including storing liquids such as sake, water , and beverages such as beer, wine, port, whiskey, as well as sherry. The barrels are mainly used for maturing beverages, storing oils and water.
There is a huge difference in taste between whisky that has been store in a barrel and that that is served immediately after processing, the one in a barrel is tastier since the barrels assist in ageing the drink hence improving its taste. The casks work by adding oxygen into the liquid and some of the air is released through an outlet pipe. The whisky ageing process is best when done in wooden barrels since they contain compounds that are vital in improving the tastes, though, the availability of the compounds in the wooden barrels depends on the magnitudes and number of times the barrels have been toasted, the ways in which the stave are cut as well as the place of origin of the barrels. Despite the preference, most governments require that whiskey be aged in wooden barrels. Other requirements vary with nationality include whisky to be stored for at least two years in new wooden containers. Another requirement for whisky manufacturer is that the whisky labeled Scotch need to be distilled and matured for at least three years.
The following are the types of casks used to for storing and maturing Scotch whisky label, these include hogshead, barrel butt, puncheon, barrique, quarter cask, port pipe, Madeira drum, among others. Furthermore, when one wants to mature brandy, they need to also keep them in wooden barrels due the ability to transfer certain aromas to the spirit. Other than whisky and brandy, other types of beverages that need ageing include balsamic vinegar, tequila, beers, as well as soft drinks.
The following are the essential factors to consider in the whisky aging process. One of the essential factors to consider is the temperature of the barrels, for good taste, the temperature need to be constant throughout till the aging process is completed.
Besides the type of barrel that one uses influences the taste, for instance new barrels tend to absorb more wine in the early stages than the old barrels, therefore one needs to ensure that they monitor the levels and add wine when the level falls. Another way of improving the taste is to set a schedule for racking the barrels after at least three months.