The request

We often receive requests from our customers whether we can also build barrels from other woods than oak. We already have a few varieties such as chestnut, mulberry, acacia or ash in our range, but new ones are always being added. This time it is one of the German favourite trees: the walnut.

The wood

Due to the high demand from the furniture industry and also the food industry, the walnut is the most valuable wood in Europe. It is characterised by a fine-grained and hard wood structure and grows particularly well at altitudes above 600 m.

But why is it suitable for barrel building? How does it behave? What aromas does it release?

These are all questions that we will now approach step by step.

What's behind the barrel?

The latest barrel in the Eder FassStolz series was initially produced by our coopers as a unique piece. We were very lucky that Markus Eder was able to get hold of this popular wood in the submission (a value wood auction). Now that it has been cut open and air-dried, the coopers could start to make the wood into a barrel – I’ll spare you the details… If you want to know more about how a barrel is built: I have prepared something.

Already during the drying process we could see that the wood of the walnut tree contains a lot of tannins – these tannins are later responsible for the aroma which the barrel gives off to distillates which are stored in it.

While warming and toasting the staves I hear my colleague in the office say: « Am I crazy or does it smell like Nutella toast here? And no, she’s not crazy. The wood develops a great aroma of nougat, roasted nuts and caramel when toasted. Just the thing for sweet lovers like me!

We are sure that the barrel will convey a great aroma – only how exactly, time will tell. As always with new things, the rule of thumb is: if you don’t dare, you don’t win. But my nose tells me: it will be pretty, pretty good!

When the distillate has been stored, I will ask our customer for a sample. And who knows? Maybe in two years I will add the best tasting of my life to this blog!

Until then – stay open for new things!

Angela Pfahler