Just wanted to say a huge thanks for the Barrel! It looks amazing and I’m sure my husband will love it!! It is Perfect!!
Thank-you Gift Factory – fantastic service and quality product that arrived within a few days or placing the order. Would definitely recommend to family and friends.
Arrived at my house within a week, quality of the barrel was fantastic. 10/10 service with quick responses through email communication.
I ordered a Barrel for my Husbands birthday last Tuesday. The finished item arrived last Friday. Fantastic service. My Husband is thrilled and is eagerly waiting until he can put his port in.
The barrel I ordered arrived and I am extremely happy with the job you did on it. It is a Christmas present for my husband and I know he will be absolutely thrilled with it. He will be anxious to get it watertight so he can put our distilled whiskey in it. Thank you for the wonderful job and the excellent service.
I was really happy with my order. I loved the design and quality of the work, and the customer service was also fantastic. Would definitely recommend to family & friends.
Thank you Gift Factory. Such a fantastic product and it arrived only a few days after we placed the order. We are absolutely thrilled with the barrel, a gift for our son’s 21st birthday from his sister. I’d happily recommend this to anyone looking for something unique and interesting.
The oak barrel I received was absolutely incredible! So patient and helpful with the custom design I asked for, and replied very quickly to help get it all sorted. There was a genuine sense of care here, it was as if he was doing it for himself and wanted it to look as perfect as possible. Very helpful even after I received the product too. Would rate higher if I could!
Great product and great people to deal with. Highly recommend!
Great quality product & a pleasure to buy from.
Excellent seller & cool gifts.
Excellent sellers. Would recommend to everybody and friends to deal with the Gift factory.
Great product, quick communication and postage.
How are the barrels made?
Our barrels are made from premium quality Virgin “American White Oak” which has been RIFT cut and medium charred inside, the charred Oak will make contact with your alcohol which is what imparts the Aromas and flavours into your drink. For this reason no waxes or bladders can be used in the production of a genuine maturing barrel, as a result some black Patina and light surface rust are often produced during the sealing process, which are the authentic characteristics of genuine Oak barrels that are usually desired.
You can select from one of 2 band options:- the “Black Rustic Steel” provides an authentic rustic patina with light grains of rust and aged markings. The “Galvanized Steel” option includes rustic characteristics with a mild patina. We stock 2L, 5L and 10L sizes. A Oak stand and a wooden spigot are provided with each barrel, or you can upgrade to the ‘brass Tap” option. The content volume of each barrel may vary +/-15% depending on the thickness of the staves. Each Oak stave is medium charred. Our barrels are hand crafted with no use of glues or nails, therefore barrel “curing” is required IMMEDIATELY and prior to use. This process serves three functions:
- Allows the barrel to water-log and swell and prevent leaking
- Limits the amount of alcohol absorbed by the barrel. Follow the instructions provided, and constantly top it up until for 7 days, it can take 1-2 weeks for the oak to become 100% waterlogged. This allows the barrel to swell tightly against the hoops and ensure that the barrel doesn’t leak . At first water will leak from between the staves or around the barrel head, this is normal and will stop within days. Barrels that do not leak should still be filled with water for 7 days. This will minimize the amount of alcohol absorbed by the barrel staves. After curing the barrel, empty and rinse with hot water 3 times. Now fill the barrel with your spirits and place the bung in tightly…Enjoy! IMPORTANT:- Any leak must be reported within 30 days. Follow the simple instructions carefully and ensure that your barrel is completely sealed before placing it on your furniture.
- Curing removes any excess charring and prevents your alcohol from discoloration. Our barrels are medium charred to level 3
How do I seal and care for my barrel?
SEAL YOUR BARREL IMMEDIATELY – Follow the sealing instructions provided to avoid cracking. Some permanent black patina on the Oakwood and light surface rust on the rings are to be expected during the sealing process which are authentic characteristics of genuine Oak barrels. It is important that the barrel is completely sealed before placing it onto furniture. The bung should be kept in at all times to maintain a vacuum. Once sealed the Barrels are best stored in a cool damp environment, this will keep the exterior from drying out and minimize evaporation. It is important that you check the content level monthly to replace any evaporation (often referred to as The Angels Share) to ensure the content never falls below 50% to prevent your barrel from cracking.
For port users: it is a good idea to shake your barrel up every 2 weeks to maintain the port’s consistency because Port can separate and can seep through the stave joints, which appears as a thick syrup. If this happens please clean it off with a warm cloth
In the event that you have allowed your barrel to dry you should attempt to follow the sealing process again. If it continues leaking, as an extreme and last last resort you could submerge the barrel in water for a couple of days, but please note that this has the potential to cause further damage. After it’s been submerged, dry the exterior with a towel and fill it with water to see if it continues to leak. If you can’t stop the leaking… cut in half and use as a planter!
How long should spirits be aged?
There’s no formula for the perfect time to age your spirits. We suggest you taste your spirit at least once per month, and once aged to YOUR taste, start drinking or empty the barrel into a decanter to stop the aging process & avoid unnecessary evaporation (often referred to as the angels share) Due to the greater surface or contact area ratio, smaller barrels will age the spirit faster than the larger barrels, for example small size barrels will age 5 to 10 times faster than your standard 55 gallon barrel. These means that one month in a small barrel will produce the equivalent aging to 1 year in a full size barrel.
How do I clean my barrel?
Your barrel will require routine cleaning. When aging hard spirits such as whiskey, rum or tequila, clean the barrel after two or three batches (or every 1 to 2 years). For wine, cider, Port or other low alcohol content spirits, clean after each batch as follows:-
- Fill the barrel with a cleaning solution and soak for 24 hours. Empty and rinse 3 times with hot water. See your local home brew retailer for cleaning solution tablets.
- Dissolve Neutralizing Acid into warm water. Fill the barrel with this neutralizing solution and soak for 15 minutes. Empty and rinse the barrel 3 times with hot water. See your local home brew retailer for Neutralizing acid.
- When storing the barrel or prior to re-use, dissolve 2 sterilizing tablets in 1 gallon of cool water. Fill the barrel with the solution. Swish around for a few minutes and rinse 3 times with hot water.
To prevent the barrel from drying out and minimize the possibility of contamination, barrels should always be stored full with spirits or sterilizing solution.
The Angels Share (Evaporation)?
American White Oak is used in the production of barrels because Oakwood breaths, which is an important part of the maturing process, as a result some evaporation (oxidation) is unavoidable, This is often referred to as “The Angels share” this oxidizing process is an essential part of imparting flavour and aromas into your alcohol.
The amount of evaporation can vary depending on your local conditions. Ensure that you have followed the sealing instructions and that your barrel is 100% waterlogged to minimize absorption and evaporation. The bung must be kept in at all times to maintain a vacuum. Extreme hot or cold temperatures, or lack of humidity will impact on your level of evaporation therefore it is recommended that you position your barrel away from direct sunlight, heaters or air-conditioning cooling systems.
The viscosity of each wine or spirit varies, therefore the levels of evaporation that you experience may vary.
It is recommended that you taste your alcohol monthly to monitor the taste, at which point you can check and replace any evaporation to ensure that the content of your barrel never falls below 50% capacity, this will also routinely release any excess gas build up. A piece of dowel can be cut to size, and marked to create your own dipping stick. Once you achieve your desired taste it is recommended that you decant your barrel into a decanter bottle and begin the next batch, this will prevent the flavour moving past your desired taste, and will also prevent further evaporation (often referred to as The Angels Share)
How long will my order take?
Each product is custom made to order. Processing times are approximately 2 business days from receipt of your order and design approval, plus 1-14 business days for shipping depending on your location. If you have left your order a little late, just request a gift certificate & photograph which you can put into a card to advise the recipient that their hand crafted & personalised gift is on its way.