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The Modern Bar Cart Podcast

Mar 15, 2018

In this episode, we talk about barrels, which are one of the most important parts of the distilling, aging, and blending process. No barrels, no brown spirits. Let that sink in for a minute.

Our guest is Alice Blayne Allard from Free State Cooperage, which is a company that handcrafts locally-sourced barrels right here in the Mid-Atlantic, working with distillers who care deeply about the quality of the barrels they use to age their products.

Some of the topics we discuss include:

  • The life cycle of a barrel, from tree, to stave, to whiskey vessel, and beyond.
  • The physics of aged spirits, and how barrel size, temperature, humidity, and char level all affect the process
  • Meditations on the terroir of aged spirits, and how local wood has local flavor
  • Some thoughts on barrel aged cocktails
  • The not-so-subtle irony of George Washington’s role in putting down the Whiskey Rebellion
  • And much, much more

Alice and Free State Cooperage are putting the finishing touches on their facility, and will be offering tours and tastings hopefully sometime in the near future. So definitely hit them up at, or follow them on Facebook to stay abreast of those updates.