Carol Peachee Photography | Barrels & Cooperages
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Barrels & Cooperages

Fire in the Barrel

Barrels Enroute to Steamer

Charring Heads

Hand Cut Bungs

KY Barrel

Cooperage Workshop

Makers Mark Ceiling

Buffalo Trace Barrel House

About This Project

In photographing the barrels and cooperage section of Straight Bourbon:Distilling the Industry’s Heritage I chose to follow the path of a bourbon barrel from the beginning through to the end. I wanted to get a sense of barrel making in the true heritage tradition all the way to the barrel empty and tasting. So I started with a historic stave mill in East Bernstadt, KY where the logs are offloaded and cut, aged, dried and planed into staves.  I spent a day inside their adjoining cooperage where those staves passed through the hands of dozens of workers on their way to becoming a bourbon barrel. Those barrels can truly be called handcrafted. Then I visited distilleries where the barrels are inspected, branded, filled, and then warehoused. Finally, I visited a new warehouse build, a barrel pour, and then a private barrel selection tasting.