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As per the law in the US, bourbon barrels can be used only once. So, when a liquor maker is done making bourbon, what does he do with the barrel? These used bourbon barrels are not thrown away, rather they are reused. In fact, there is a market for such used wooden barrels.
The reason is simple; when you buy bourbon barrels that are used, you can use them to ferment and store other spirits. A used bourbon barrel is good to ferment wine, whiskey, and other beverages too. The flavor and taste of the spirit are enhanced by the used barrel.
If you wish to ferment or store whiskey or wine, then you can consider buying used barrels. This guide will tell you what you need to look for while buying used bourbon barrels.
You can get bourbon barrels for sale at the Rocky Mountain Barrel Company, where you can buy and use them for your needs.
Questions to ask before buying used bourbon barrels
When you are buying used bourbon barrels, you need to know all about the barrels, how it has been used, and other facts. These are questions that you should ask the vendor who is selling the used bourbon barrels.
Before getting into the questions, there is some background information that you need to know. Across the world, winemakers prefer used bourbon barrels made of oak. This is due to the compounds released from the oak. Wine and whiskey aged in bourbon barrels have a better taste as well as flavor.
The barrels also allow for controlled oxidation of their contents. The oak allows small amounts of oxygen to enter through its semi-permeable membrane. This helps in the process of aging the wine.
Barrels are also toasted at different temperatures. The toasting allows more flavors like vanilla and spices to be infused into the contents of the barrel.
It is now time to look at the questions you need to ask the vendor before buying barrels.
1) What are the barrels made from?
It is a known fact that used bourbon barrels are made from oak. You need to find out the type of oak from which it is made. Most barrels are made from American white oak, while some barrels are made from French oak. You should know that American oak is more cost-efficient than French oak. Make sure to ask the vendor about the type of oak from which the barrels have been made.
2) What is the source of the wood?
The barrels are made from American white oak, but where does the wood come from? Oak trees are grown specifically for the purpose of making barrels in some regions. Most wood comes from Kentucky, California, or other places in the USA. You need to know from where the wood has been sourced. In case European oak has been used, you need to find out the source of the wood.
3) Who made the barrels?
This is a key question to ask. Barrels are made by specialists known as coopers. They are experienced in the process of making barrels. You need to ask about the background of the barrel makers. It takes five years of apprenticeship to become a certified cooper. Information about the barrel maker will help you to know if the barrel will be up to your specifications.
4) How much inventory is available?
If your demand is for just one barrel, you are likely to get it immediately. However, if you are a winemaker or run a distillery, then you may require a large number of barrels. So, find out the inventory available so you will know if they can fill your order on time.
Always buy bourbon barrels from a vendor who is ready to answer all your questions patiently and is helpful. Get in touch with us.
5) What is the capacity of the barrel?
This is one of the basic questions you need to ask. Barrels are made to a specific capacity (i.e., 53 gallons). You need to find out the different capacities available, so you can choose the ones you need.
6) Are the barrels toasted/charred?
As discussed above, barrels that are toasted or charred can create a better flavor for the stored wine or whiskey. You need to find out if the barrels have been toasted or charred and also the levels of charring. There are four levels of char. Depending on the kind of flavor you want, you can choose the char level.
Level 1 char creates an oaky flavor for the spirits. Level 2 char is preferred when you want the sweetness of the wine or whiskey. Level 3 char gives a spicy flavor with notes of caramel and vanilla. Level 4 char creates a deep color and a strong spicy flavor.
7) Is it possible to order a customized barrel?
You may want a particular type of char or finish. Sometimes, you may have a specific requirement for a barrel. In such a case, you can let the vendor know it. They will find out if such an order can be delivered. In some cases, vendors can even personalize a barrel with a name, logo, or other design!
8) Whether ordering can be done online?
You can ideally visit the seller that put the inventory on sale. This will afford you assurance that you will get the best barrels. Sometimes, it is convenient to order online. You need to understand how the process works. Would you be able to see photos or videos of the barrels? How does the ordering process work? What are the modes of payment? Are there discounts offered? Is there an option to return items if they are damaged or not as per your specifications? These are key questions to ask. Once you find out the answers, you will be ready to place your order.
Buying used bourbon barrels
With the knowledge of these questions, you can now find the best-quality used bourbon barrels for sale. It is important to find a good vendor to buy used barrels. Whether you are planning to ferment spirits or just store them, you can do it all in old oak bourbon barrels!
Are you looking for a vendor with different kinds of used barrels for sale? Visit Rocky Mountain Barrel Company today and get the best-used bourbon barrels for your needs.