Sometimes our clients ask for a recommendation on the use of a restored barrel or a virgin wood one, as in all the issues points in favor and points against one over another, we will begin by telling you that the final product you are looking for depends on The barrel you should use.
First when buying a new barrel, you should pay special attention to what type of wood you are getting, in another of our blogs we talked about French and American white oak, these are the two most used in the production of barrels, then after knowing what type of wood has been used, you must see if it is toasted or char and determine the level that you require the most popular options are light, medium or dark.
One of the challenges when obtaining a new barrel is curing it, since it must be done in full awareness to avoid future leaks when it is already in use, also in one of our previous blogs we suggest a how to step by step procedure. Another important point is to check that the barrel does not have a bad smell caused by bacteria and fungi, in new barrels this is unlikely to happen.
Some of the advantages that we can see in the new barrel versus the restored one are:
1. Longer life: Being a new barrel, the wood should measure between 5/4 and 4/4 of an inch also have hoops of blued, galvanized metal or stainless steel that increase the life of the barrel.
2. It is not a carrier of any vessel: If the barrel has been used in another beverage or product will influence your final result without a doubt, this can be seen by many as a disadvantage too, new wood having not previously had any drinks inside its smell should be only to roasted wood.
3. Certification by the manufacturer of the origin of the wood: Most manufacturers can request a document from the sawmill or lumber that mentions the variety of oak and its origin, this to ensure that the product you are being delivered is manufactured with the type of oak you need and / or requested.
4. Long-term repairs: Having all its new components, these require longer-term attention than a restored one.
5. Lower probability of being contaminated: Humidity is most often the cause of fungi or unwanted bacteria inside, being a new barrel this has a minimum humidity and before embarking it was roasted inside which reduces considerably this probability.
Restored barrels are widely used in Mexican distillates, especially the ones that had bourbon, experts comment that they improve the qualities of having had the whiskey before and having been scraped and roasted before refilling the barrel's contributions.
Some of the advantages of the restored barrel are:
1. Lower cost: By buying a restored barrel you can save a considerable sum of money, it could be between 40 and 70%.
2. Probability of minimum leakage: The chances of this barrel leaking are very low since having been in use the wood was already swollen, just make sure it does not remain empty for long periods of time.
3. Contributions of the previous drink: If what you are looking for is that your drink gets the touch of some distillated or fermented beverage that is put in barrel, these will be very useful since the wood is impregnated with the drink and it is kept inside and being filled by a different one you will get some odors and flavors from the one that was preserved before.
4. Economic repair: The spare parts of these barrels will be easier to obtain than those of a new one because when they are sold it is in large batches which makes it easier to find the pieces and at a lower cost compared to making a barrel with new wood.
5. Minimum purchase: This depends a lot on the geographical region where you are, the majority of people do not have a cooperage in their locality therefore many occasions to have new barrels they will need to make minimum purchases of containers so that the costs are more accessible instead restored barrels can be found scattered throughout the world which makes the minimum purchases much smaller, with some producers like our company the order could start from one barrel.
Hopefully this blog can help you in the decision to buy your barrel.
Blog made by Barriles la Arboleda.