Barrel Sizes

Barrel Sizes

I thought I’d follow up yesterday’s post with a list of barrel sizes for reference.

The English Tun (259 gallons) twice the size of a butt and 6 brewery barrels

Gorda (185 gallons) Made from American oak (Quercus alba) Used for marrying whiskeys or vatting them together

Madeira Drum (172 gallons) Made from very thick staves of European oak (Quercus robur). short and fat. Used in the madeira wine industry. Sometimes used for finishing whiskies.

Port Pipe (172 gallons) Also made from thick staves of European oak (Quercus robur). This one is long and narrow. Used in port wine industry. Sometimes used to finish whisky

Machine Puncheon (132 gallons) Made from American oak (Quercus alba). 1/3 of a tun. Short and fat. Used mostly in the rum industry. Sometimes used for finishing sherry or whisky

Sherry Puncheon (132 gallons) Made from thinner staves of Spanish oak (Quercus falcata). 1/3 of a tun. Used in the sherry industry. Sherry seasoned puncheons are used for finishing whisky.

Sherry butt (129-132 gallons) Made from thick European oak staves (Quercus robur). Tall and slender. These are the most common types of sherry barrels seasoned with sherry. Mostly produced for use in finishing whisky. These are not generally used in the sherry industry to make good sherry. The sherry used to season these casks is often distilled into brandy after seasoning the barrels.

Barrique (for Cognac) (79 gallons) Used in the wine and cognac industries. Best described as butt-shaped hogsheads. Sometimes used for finishing whisky.

Barrique (for Bordeaux) (59 gallons) Used in the wine industry, favored by bordeaux producers. Butt-shaped hogsheads. Sometimes used for finishing whisky

Hogshead (59-66 gallons) Historically, 1/2 a butt, 1/4 of a tun. These barrels are made from repurposed bourbon barrels. The bourbon barrel is taken apart and rebuilt with extra staves. European whisky producers prefer this size to store more whisky in less space. A larger barrel will allow the whisky to age longer as well.

American Standard Barrel (ASB) (53 gallons) Can be made from any white oak, but most commonly American oak. They are the most common whisky barrel in use today.

British brewery barrel (43 gallons) Standard British brewery barrel size. Equals 288 pints.

Tierce (35 gallons) Half a puncheon, 1/3 of a butt, 1/6 of a tun. Most closely related to the oil industry

Kilderkin (22 gallons) Half a British brewery barrel

Rundlet (15 gallons) 1/7 of a butt, 1/14 of a tun

Quarter cask (13 gallons) One quarter the size and proportion of an ASB. Helps age the spirit faster.

Blood Tub (11 gallons) Made long and oval shaped to be carried on horseback more easily.

Firkin (11 gallons) Quarter size British Brewery barrel. Holds 72 pints.

Pin (5 gallons) Usually used by home beer brewers but can be used by small microdistilleries. Holds 36 pints.