Managing our stock of whisky casks, full and empty, here on Islay is a multi-faceted challenge for our warehouse team and Head Distiller Adam Hannett, who himself worked for seven years in the warehouses.
Warehouse 12 is where the team of five fill whisky casks with our newly-distilled spirit, take-in shipments of fresh casks, and prepare the whisky required for our bottling operations down in the Harvey Hall off the distillery courtyard.
On Adam’s instructions, they also move parcels of maturing whisky from one cask type to another, or from one warehouse stow to another, in order to influence the rate and character of its development.
See more in this article about vatting.
In our code, these ‘green-ender’ casks with the stencilled letter ‘P’ have been filled at least twice before with peated spirit, meaning that the wood is rendered neutral and will not act further on the flavour or structure of the whisky within. These casks are used to marry the whisky after vatting. This is the final step prior to bottling a product such as Port Charlotte Scottish Barley.
In this video, warehouseman Jay Docherty is fixing a leak using a kinching iron to fit ‘flagging’, a natural reed, between the croze and the cask head.