I was thinking that it would fit our apartment quite nicely, kind of a decoration thing on which you could store some bottles or perhaps use it as a drinking table when friends come over or whatever.. (I haven't mentioned it to the "government" at home still though, someone could of course have another oppinion.. ) Anyway I think it would be neat, just think about the scent..
I contacted a distillery on Islay but they told me that they don't sell them and that shipping would anyways be smth around 300 - 600 £..
Do you know any distilleries that might sell a cask? Or any experiences on shipment costs from Scotland to some country?
Mind you, also as Aidan said, they do tend to sell them in halves. We have two huge ones in our backyard.
You could always buy an ex-cask from a winery or vineyard? They look the same, and you could always tell your friends that you got on Islay!
There's a cooperage here in Australia that happily sells casks direct to the public for use as furniture, decoration, etc, etc.
I'm not sure what the shipping costs from Oz to your place would be, but given that the Australian dollar is pretty crap against most foreign currencies, it may not be too costly for you.
All I can do is wish you good luck in your search for empty casks. About two years ago I asked the same question here on this forum. Shipping is very expensive. Even to a nearby country as Belgium. Almost all (half) casks you find in garden centres are old wine casks.
I can recommend you to contact liquor shops where they sell whisky. They sometimes can order empty casks as furniture for the shop. One shop gave me an address in Belgium and so I ordered two very beatiful casks (I only paid 60 euro for one cask) : one stands no in the living room and the other in my whisky room. Apparently they were recently used : when I removed the cork the whole living room smelled for two days like whisky ! Once you place them in your house, I recommend you to keep them wet inside, otherwise the wood can change a bit and the rings will loosen.
Good luck with your quest !
(Just proofread this--originally typed "full barrels" instead of "whole barrels"--wishful thinking, I guess!)
First place my search took me to was Ebay etc - do not buy from here, at the time I was looking, a barrel was selling for c. £130 PLUS postage. Not cheap. Even saw one go as high as £1085!?!?
After a few hours search, and a few phonecalls / e-mails I came up with the following:
1. Try your favourite distillery - you might get lucky, some distilleries have their own cooperage (e.g. Balvenie) and even assuming otherwise, inevitably have a few spare casks lying around. This is unlikely (although one of my friends lucked out and got one from his favourite distillery, but I've no idea about costs) and the distilleries I spoke to did not seem keen to sell their old casks for some reason...
2. Try a local whisky specialist shop - (luckily there are quite a few nearby) a couple of them told me they have (or knew someone who has) and old cask lying around and I could uplift for free (or very minimal cost for the cask).
3. Try contacting a cooperage - most make garden furniture or similar from the casks they will not or can not repair, and usually sell whole casks too. The bonus of this is they are relatively cheap (usually about £30, but depends obviously on size of cask) and (a big bonus) that they can usually arrange delivery for you, although this can get expensive due to size and weight.
Your post just now triggered an auto email to me to advise me that the topic I was involved with had received a reply! Probably says something that I still have the same email address I did 11 years ago!
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