Its brown because of the barrel, we love it because of the barrel, and we need the barrel to call it bourbon. The more the demand the more we need barrels such that we are about to face a barrel shortage. There is no way around it thus we must go through it but I am happy for every bottle of whiskey sold in and from this country. Finally something that we cannot outsource and for every sip a American job is secured.
The author writes
Napa Valley vintner David Duncan has been known to stick his head in an American white oak barrel to get a full hit of the vanilla-laden, fresh-baked cookie smell the emanates from the wood.
In fact, his Silver Oak winery – which produces classic cabernet sauvignon from the Napa Valley and Alexander Valley – is so wedded to using only American oak (no French wood will suffice) to age its popular cabernet sauvignon, the family-owned winery recently took on 100 percent ownership of its own cooperage, where wooden staves are bent into barrels according to an ancient trade.
And Duncan isn’t the only producer stoked on oak.
Figures for the mostly privately held industry are hard to come by, but demand is evident in the 40 to 50 percent price hikes seen in stave log prices since 2012, says Brad Boswell, president and fourth-generation cooper at Independent Stave Co., which supplies customers and cooperages in more than 40 countries.