Stacked inside warehouses around Kentucky are millions of bourbon barrels. The name of the distillery stamped on the casks differs from warehouse to warehouse, as does the aging whiskey inside.
But each barrel has at least one thing in common: the type of wood it is made from.
That wood is white oak, a water-tight wood distilleries need and federal law requires to age bourbon. But there is not enough white oak to meet demand, say bourbon industry representatives who testified yesterday before the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment.