A story to be told.
Each Whisky Stave Heart Candle Holder has endured a long and full past life as a treasured holder of our Speyside spirit. Running its course as a keeper of tradition as an oak barrel or cask holding a local Speyside whisky for many years. Each cask could have a lifespan of up to 60 years in the whisky world before eventually, due to fault, or no longer able to take any more grinding down and recharring, it has to retire.
This is the perfect time to reinvent the whisky stave into a feature to be appreciated for many more years. A beautifully crafted gift. The warmth of the oak tones and the tactile smooth grain, a piece to enjoy and its origin to discuss. This whisky stave heart candle holder would make an ideal gift for a loved one.
Our Whisky Distilleries and Cooperage are truly at the heart of Speyside. A quick visit to The Speyside Cooperage and you will soon learn to appreciate the long and careful process each stave has endured before eventually (if it’s lucky) ending up with a skilled craftsman, who, with a little tlc is able to transform this little piece of whisky making history into a unique and beautiful candle holder to enjoy for many years.
Each stave holds a unique story; usually originating in America, grown from an acorn into an incredibly strong white oak tree, sliced into appopriate lengths and offered up to the coopers to work their magic. Each one soaked and shaped before being skillfully included into a barrel, hogshead, cask or butt. Each cask is charred to perfection to protect the oak and seal the cask, infusing the spirit with its story. This method of creating casks and barrels is an age old tradition dating back to pre-historic times, ideal for storing various liquids and food.
A cask’s lifespan depends on what it is used for. Those used by the Sherry industry can often be decades old, while Bourbon producers, which can only use new American oak casks, only use theirs for a few years before selling them on to another industry.
The majority of casks used by Scotch distillers will have already been used to mature or store Bourbon, rum, Sherry, Port or wine, among other beverages. These are either shipped to Scotland whole, with a small amount of liquid retained inside to keep the cask wet, or broken down into staves for reassembly at a Scottish cooperage.
After some time a cask’s ability to effectively mature whisky diminishes as the toasted oak’s sugars are depleted and the char layer exhausted. However, these casks can be rejuvenated through a process called STR – shave, toast, rechar. Back at the cooperage the cask’s spent inner layer is shaved off, before it is toasted, recharred and filled again. Obviously there are only so many times this process can be repeated before the cask is deemed ‘knackered’ and retired from use.
This whisky stave heart candle holder may well have started life over 200 years ago, as an acorn in America, transformed into a cask for a Bourbon, a cask for a Spanish Sherry then a whisky cask in Speyside before offering to you as a candleholder to enjoy!