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Monday 25 October 2021

An experiment: Will fine spirits age better when stored on the water?

Will fine spirits age better when stored on the water?

French company Maison Ferrand's newly operational Barge 166 will be used to conduct "dynamic aging" experiments on spirits.

Maison Ferrand has the world’s first floating ageing cellar, BARGE 166, on the banks of the Seine just outside Paris. The vessel will house premium rum, whisky and Cognac.

A 73-year-old river barge is the new home to around 1500 barrels of fine spirits.

The canal boat is located on the river bank in the Paris suburb of Issy-les-Moulineux.

It is the culmination of two years of research and development by the Cognac-based fine spirits producer, Drinks Business reported.

The project involved a complete structural rebuild of the vessel in order to make room for the barrels. The boat’s engine had to be removed.

As well as Maison Ferrand’s own cognac and rum, Barge 166 will age collaborations with select spirits partners including Mackmyra Swedish Whisky.

The barrels will be studied closely to analyse the impact of dynamic ageing in the boat’s very humid cellar, which is expected to see significant temperature variations. Consumers will also be able to buy and personalise a barrel.

The Freycinet-style barge has been designed to house approximately 1,500 custom-made 30-litre barrels.

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