Speyside Cooperage, Craigellachie, Scotland

This evening, I am posting information on Speyside Cooperage at Craigellachie in the Speyside region of the Scottish Highlands.

This facility, now French owned, has been in operation since 1947. Oak casks play a vital role in the production of Scotch whisky not least because maturation in oak casks is one of the key qualifications for the manufacture of the spirit.

Most of the casks at the Cooperage are made of American oak and emanate from Kentucky and Tennessee, having first been used in the manufacture of Bourbon.

During each year about 100,000 casks are processed at Speyside Cooperage via a process of re-assembling and/or repair.

Interestingly, the professional coopers are employed on a piece-work basis and consequently are totally focused on their work, as shown in the video below. There is no chatting around the water cooler! However, job satisfaction must be high because the small team of coopers have accumulated many years of continuous service.

Speyside location is important because about half of Scotland’s working distilleries are located in the region. Only a handful of distilleries now have in-house cooperages with most reliant on Speyside and similar facilities for casks which are split into distinct sub-types, viz:

  • Barrels
  • Hogsheads
  • Butts
  • Puncheons.

There is a visitor centre with restaurant.

Video clip of coopers at work at Speyside Cooperage

Work in process at Speyside Cooperage, Craigellachie

Testing area at Speyside Cooperage, Scotland

 

Landscape view of Speyside Cooperage, Craigellachie, Scotland

Whisky casks at Speyside Cooperage, Craigellachie, Scotland

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