In October, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association released record numbers for whiskey barrels filled (2.1 million) and total barrels in aging (9.86 million) at the end of 2019. Cooperages raising those casks are hammering and charring round the clock, massive rickhouses needed to hold them all are rising rapidly, and distilleries are running 24-7.
Not really, if you ask distillery owners. The liquid in at least half those barrels won’t mature to sale-readiness for years, and of the roughly 15 percent that could be dumped tomorrow, the resulting bottles filled would do little to quench the world’s thirst for American whiskey.
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