Monday, March 9, 2015

How Big is That Barrel? Bourbon Barrel, Hogshead, Sherry Butt

This post will hopefully answer some questions for you that took me far too long to find. Gallons are listed in imperial and standard in case you are in the US, Myanmar, or Liberia.

US GallonsImperial GallonsLiters 750 mL Bottles 700 mL Bottles
Bourbon Barrel5344.1200.6267.5286.6
Hogshead 75.763238.5318340.7
Sherry Butt 158.5132600800857.1

Some assumptions:
  • The bottle yield assumes full barrels, which is, of course, silly, but gives you the ability to make a quick estimate about evaporation. 
  • The size of a hogshead was obtained from Wolfram Alpha. You will find about a billion different definitions of a hogshead. A hogshead is generally made from staves of a palletized bourbon barrel, utilizing more staves than the initial barrel. 
  • Two sizes you will consistently see on Sherry butts is 500 and 600 liters. When Sherry is produced, the practice is to fill the barrel 5/6ths full, which is my educated guess as to why those two measurements consistently appear.