Almost 70 extremely rare Oloroso casks from Córdoba in (Andalucía) southern Spain have arrived at the distillery – the first of which was filled with spirit by the Spanish cooper who repaired them.
Boann bought the casks when an old family Bodega closed – now they will be used to mature its whiskey after a century of Oloroso wine seeped into the wood. To honour the heritage of the barrels, Boann is filling all 68 casks with a unique mashbill dating form the 1920’s – a single pot still spirit produced using the same ingredients as Irish whiskeys produced a century ago and re-discovered by whiskey historian Fionnan O’Connor last year.( Link to Vintage Mashbills project here )
The mashbill is a combination of raw barley (40%), malted barley (30%), oats (15%), wheat (10%) and rye (5%).
By saving these hand-made casks, we are giving them another lease of life and they can conceivably be used to mature whiskey for another 100 years. It also ties in with our barrel sustainability program as these barrels are being re-used without the need for fresh timber to construct new barrels. The Irish-Spanish partnership began in April when we discovered these special casks, ranging in volume from 500lt-600ltr, were available. We took them all in a single lot and asked a family-run cooperage, Toneleria J.L. Rodriguez Cooperage JL Rodriguez to make minor repairs to the 100-year-old casks, ensuring the original wood and the flavours they absorbed remained.
It took Juan and his team three months to restore them at an average of two-three barrels a day. Sixty-eight were in good condition and Juan brought them to the cooperage, repaired them all by himself and packed them up before shipping them to us. It was fitting then that he came over from Spain to our distillery and filled the first cask – the first whiskey barrel he had ever filled.
We hope these unique and special casks will last another 100 years.