A cooperage as opposed to a distillery (but still just as involved in the new world whisky movement), Tonelería del Sur artisan cooperage create Casknolia brand casks for premium spirits globally. Based on tradition, quality and trust and backed by almost half a century of craftsmanship their focus is on satisfying the needs of creative distillers looking for unrepeatable flavours and nuances, with the cooper tradition and craft vocation the key to the versatility of their barrels.
Wood, Iron and Fire are the fundamental raw materials for the evolution of Casknolia casks, a process that has continued pretty much unchanged through the centuries, with only a few new technical methods added to the skilled hands of their artisans to ensure an improved quality. Dealing with both new and previously used casks (treating them to become casks for Whisky ageing), they pay careful attention to customer requirements, providing a wide variety of wood types, charring, metals, techniques and size options for a unique end result.
Already offering their services to distilleries in over 30 countries, they're proud to now give Cask World clients the option to use a specific or custom-made cask for their new make or to finish maturation in a particular way. They’re also pleased to offer our customers the opportunity to invest in the process by purchasing the wood at an early stage to set aside for casks of the future. Finally, “Casknolia Barrel Chips” are now available via Cask World - used to smoke all kinds of foods, these chips add the flavour of the spirits they previously contained and are a must-have ingredient for gourmet palates!
The soul of spirits - the Casknolia brand focuses on satisfying the needs of creative distillers looking for unrepeatable flavours and nuances. The cooper tradition and the craft vocation are the key to the versatility of their barrels
For Casknolia sustainability is key - respect for the forests is reflected in the thoughtful and sympathetic use of wood from sustainable forests in the process of barrel making. To them, wood is more than a raw material - it's a way of life
Casknolias brand values are the result of the personality of its creators: two generations of coopers who have forged their character with every blow of the mallet, fed their enthusiasm with the fire of the blast furnace and refined their knowledge with the same perseverance with which a generous wine brings nuances to the wood of the barrel when it ages in the cellar
Casknolia places value in craftsmanship above all else and applies innovation in processes as long as they respect tradition. The quality of their barrels is what defines them, respecting the time needed to guarantee the best results
A family owned and run business with a wealth of history and experience Rafael Cabello founded Tonelería Del Sur with his son Rafa (now CEO & Head Cooper) and daughter Nadia helping in 2005
Their focus is on creating premium casks, specialising in the barrel ageing process from diverse wine varieties from different wine producing areas, imparting notes in spirits and brews through seasoning methods
- They originate from a region where one of the best wines in the world is made, acquiring exceptional character without the need for additives or complex industrial processes, and they operate as best they can to be faithful these origins.
They have 3 key lines: Virgin, legacy and Historic
The Virgin casks line preserves the natural flavours of wood, but not all woods are the same. For this reason, they offer different types of oak: American oak, European oak, Spanish oak and Danish oak
With their Legacy line, distillers take the control of the seasoning of the casks: they can choose wine to season them or send them to wineries where they season them and choose how the barrels will be there
Exclusive casks - these enjoy a prolonged contact with wines or brandies (for several decades) and impart special notes to the spirits during the maturing process
- Tonelería Del Sur have acquired an extensive and proven experience in the ex-Sherry, Oloroso and P.X. barrels market
- Wood craftsmen at heart, they work with the best distributors, always thinking in terms of sustainability
Cask World's Highlights
Meeting Rafa at his home and cooperage in Spain was a breath of fresh air… a master cooper through and through, his hard work and dedication has resulted in large cask contracts for a huge range of clients globally, and they’ve seen for themselves the growing demand for world whisky production. Famous throughout the spirits industry, you will have all heard of distilleries using their casks, Bladnoch and 8 Doors in Scotland, John Paul in India, St. Kilian in Germany, Mackmyra and High Coast in Sweden, Eimverk in Iceland, Thy in Denmark, Rabbit Hole in the USA, and many more… Wandering through the cooperage was a fantastic experience. The noise of machines planing wood, sanding staves, giant old PX casks being rolled around to be washed, miniature casks being assembled stave by stave - all backed by the sound of the hammer continually coming down to fix the hoops around the casks…clink, clink, clink…I even had a go myself!
Sustainability and conservation feature highly - their wood is harvested from carefully selected forests in Northern Spain, while cask staves too badly damaged to be reused are recycled, becoming Casknolia Gourmet Barrel Chips for smoking food. Following years soaking in wines, ports, sherries and other spirits, these chips are infused with incredible flavours and aromas - having tried them myself I highly recommend them! We’re proud to be the Casknolia Gourmet distributor for the UK.
Wood for virgin casks is dried approx. 18 months (to prevent damage) before casks are constructed, then sent to mature spirits for several years, all prior to being exported & filled with aged or new make single malt spirit. Alternatively used casks from their extensive bodega contacts are refurbished to their exacting standards. They even offer a unique cask seasoning program - Casknolia ‘Legacy’ - tailoring casks to individual taste and flavour requirements. And now they offer their leading quality casks to the Cask World community, providing our customers the chance to create single cask edition premium new world whisky.
We’re proud to have formed an alliance with the Casknolia team - we look forward to growing together as the new world whisky boom continues to demand more spirit and more resources.
Casknolia at a glance
Tonelería del Sur (originally Toneleria Hermanos Cabello until 2005)
Rafael Cabello - CEO & Master Cooper
Nadia Cabello - International logistics
Elena Raya -Purchasing & national sales
José Antonio Romero - Head of Wood
Rafael Sánchez, Antonio Pérez, Antonio Carmona, Antonio Bonilla, Carlos Prados - Wood Assistants
Francisco Jiménez, Sergio Pérez - Charring Team Coopers
Rafael Raya & Francisco Carmona - Production Coopers
Francisco Salas, David Carmona, Gianluca Grandineti - Restoration Coopers
José Luis Zafra - Cooper, Finishing & Packing
Antonio J. Castilla - Engravement and Packaging
Everything needed to create individual casks to requirements of the customer!
American oak, Danish oak, European oak, Spanish oak, Virgin, Historic and Legacy ranges, a variety of wine smoked wood options from Spain and Portugal, galvanised or metal hoops, 4 lts to 500 lts sizes and a variety of char options
Casks are stored on site before logistics and export experience comes into play allowing them to be transferred to the distillery for filling
The Cask Making Process
The process for making casks takes approximately 4 years - below is a brief overview of each stage:
1. Cutting down selected trees and prepping the logs of rigorously selected wood for drying
2. Drying the wood (takes approximately 18 months)
3. Make the wood into 'staves', and craft into casks of varying size using steel hoops to bind the staves together
4. Once created, the casks are then sent off to different winery regions to be seasoned (filled with distillate from a variety of grapes - takes 1-2 years)
5. Finally the casks are ready to mature whisky and are sent to distilleries around the globe.
Traceability throughout the process is one of Casknolias brand’s strengths, as is the way they forge the relationship between the barrel and its owner from the moment they start manufacturing. Through the application of essential elements such as water, fire and, later, wine, on the raw material, they obtain the aromas and flavours that make Casknolia barrels special and ensure the exclusivity of their customers' spirits.
In addition to casks Casknolia have recently launched the “Casknolia Barrel Chips” Collection. Used to smoke all kinds of foods, these chips give them the flavour of the wines that they have contained inside, such as oloroso, red wine, Pedro Ximenez or liqueurs such as bourbon. These wood shavings, which are discarded elsewhere, have now become a must-have ingredient for gourmet palates.
Current Cask Prices
Varies dependent on type - please contact us for details
Unión Empresarial de la Madera (UNIEMA) 2019 - Recognition for entrepreneurial attitude and innovation
Artesanía Hecha En Andalucía 2021 - Andalusian Award for Innovation and Research in Crafts (Junta de Andalucía)
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