Speyside Cooperage Visitor Center
Dufftown Road, Craigellachie
Aberlour, Banffshire AB38 9RS
The origin of the cooper-craft goes back to the pre-historic times, when there were only stone and bronze tools, according to the Speyside Cooperage. The earliest examples of the craft comes from ancient Egyptian era when woods were highly valued.
Speyside Cooperage is located in highland region of Scotland. In the small town of Craigellachie, Speyside Cooperage sits on the famous Malt Whisky Trail. Cooperage welcomes visitors from all over the world with video presentation, historical panels and documentations, gift shops and more.
Speyside Cooperage produces about 200 casks a day. Each one of them can live up to sixty years.
North American's white oak is a major source for Scotland's cooperage industry due to its chemistry of the wood, which enhances the flavor of Scotch whisky during the aging process. Whisky also gets its dark amber golden color from the wood. About 300,000 seasoned American white oak barrels arrive to be worked at the Speyside Cooperage each year.
During the maturation process in the American oak casks, Scotch whisky distillers seek for the four major changes before the products get to your home bar.
Removal of undesirable aromas (sulphurous, cereal etc)
Replacement of harshness and sharpness by fruity and mellow characteristics
Increased blended flavour complex
Production of colour
After a cask retires from the whisky industry, a new life starts as a consumer product. And Speyside Cooperage brings the dead casks alive once again, transforming them into the products such as furniture, clocks, cork screw and so on. Casks that are beyond repair can be chipped and can be used to cook Scottish smoked salmon. "We hardly waste any parts of the casks", says the spokesman of Speyside Cooperage. Speyside Cooperage has been owned and ran by the Taylor family since 1947.
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