23rd March 2015 First Cask Filling Day
Peter and Andy set to work in reducing the spirit in the Spirit Receiver Warehouse Vat (SRWV) down from around 73% abv to the cask filling strength of 63.5% abv. The first time this was done was elegantly managed with a garden hose! These days, they have a flow meter to add the correct amount of water from our aquifer. The spirit was carefully circulated to ensure a good mix before cask filling began.
After a few adjustments of the new Cockayne filling head, Cask number 1 was filled with 115.9 litres of alcohol or 181 bulk litres of spirit. This first cask weighed in at 218kg, but they are usually between 230kg and 240kg. They certainly take some careful handling when full!
A year on, our distillery team has filled 672 casks in total across first fill Bourbon barrels, Shaved Toasted Re-charred (STR) barrels, Sherry Butts and a Port Pipe. On average a Bourbon barrel takes around 45 seconds to fill, an STR about 50 seconds and a Sherry Butt 90 seconds. We usually fill casks once a week at an average rate of 24 a week.
Cask number one was moved to the doocot in the distillery visitor centre where it remains today under the safe watch of our two distillery pigeons. The remaining casks were moved onto the racking beside the filling area until being delivered to our warehouse for maturation.
You can taste what our new make spirit tastes like when you visit the distillery for a tour or buy some from our website shop.