Five Considerations Before Purchasing a Barrel

Celtic Timber is Europe’s largest stockist of new and used barrels. We have barrels of all kinds of shapes and sizes and from a variety of previous uses.

If you are in the market for a barrel, here are our top five things that you may wish to consider first.

Feautred Products:


1. What Size Oak Barrel Do I Need?

Our reclaimed oak barrels vary in size with the smallest barrels being our 40 Gallon (180 Litres) whiskey barrels at approximately 88cm in height and our biggest barrels are 120 Gallons (550 Litres), which are approximately 1.3 metres in height. We do have brand new, slightly smaller decoration barrels made from either limewood or acacia, which are best suited for interior use and ranging in size from 6.5 Gallon (30 Litres) and 43cm tall to 30 Gallon (150 Litres) and 79cm tall.

2. What Style of Oak Barrel Should I buy?

Once you know what size barrel you are going to need, you’ll need to think aesthetics. Our barrels have a varied history – whether that is being imported from Tennessee after being used to distill  the famous Jack Daniels or Jim Beam whiskies or ageing fine Bordeaux red wine.

Whiskey barrels are up to 20 years old and will therefore be weathered and rustic looking. They are freshly emptied so will be delivered with their strong smell still present.

Wine barrels are more likely to be around 3-5 years old so will be much lighter in colour and present a much cleaner look.

We are now also able to refurbish barrels with our on-site barrel sander and can offer fully refurbished wine barrels or part-furnished whiskey barrels.

3. Are Reclaimed Oak Barrels Watertight?

Normally. Most of our oak whiskey barrels and oak wine barrels will be watertight. If they are filled with water within 6 months – 1 year of being emptied they should retain water. If the staves dry out then cracks may appear but they should swell up again as they retain water.

However, we do not guarantee that our whiskey barrels are or will remain watertight due to their age. If you are looking to use a barrel as a water feature or as a water butt, then we would recommend our oak wine barrels.

4. Can I get my Oak Barrel Personalised?

We are able to engrave a logo, any wording or some images onto lighter oaks – more suited for wine barrels and our new decoration barrels.

5. What is the History / Flavour of The Oak Barrel?

This may not matter to a lot of our customers. However, our wine barrels, for example, are very popular for ageing sour beers and our new oak barrel kegs are perfect for ageing spirits at home. The flavour, the amount of toasting and the age of the oak will all affect the flavour of what is stored in them.


Now that you have everything that you need to know – head over to oak barrels category!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *