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10 MOST COMMON OAK CASK DIMENSIONS, SIZES, VOLUMES AND TYPES

With the increase use of oak casks, craft spirits, brown spirits, small batch and cask finishes one needs to understand more what are the casks, their sizes and types.

First a barrel is a specific dimension of cask. Since the barrel is the most common size used to age spirits most people call everything a barrel, but this is incorrect. A cask is the generic name and a ‘barrel’ is a specific size and type of cask.

A spirit barrel is a cask which contains 200 liters of spirits.

Consequently, oak casks have different sizes and each size of cask has a different name, as the illustration below shows.

Cask Dimensions, Volumes, Sizes and Styles

Cask Dimensions, Volumes, Sizes and Styles

10 Most Common CASK DIMENSIONS

Tun Cask: 1000 litres
Commonly used to rest, marry, blend, etc. liquids.

Pipe Cask: 650 litres
Common for Port

Butt Cask: 500 litres
Common for Sherry

Puncheon Cask: 450 litres
Common for Sherry

Hogshead Cask: 300 litres
Common for Cognac (barrique) and wine (225 liters)

Barrel Cask: 200 litres
Common for whiskies, but also Rum and Tequila

Tierce Cask: 150 litres

Rundlet Cask: 100 litres
Barillet in French

Quarter Cask: 50 litres
Trendy for small batch-craft

Firkin Cask: 40 litres

Hence, this is why Comandon Cognac for instance makes ‘single casks’ rather than ‘single barrel’ cognacs, because in fact the original cask might not have been a ‘barrel’ but an Hogshead, called BARRIQUE in French.

Note: that the sizes vary depending if it is French, American or British for instance, but the above works as a general rule.

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This entry was posted on September 15, 2016 by in Education, Uncategorized and tagged .
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