Nearly every whisky barrel gets a second chance at life. Many go on to house other spirits or beer, while some are reborn as humble outdoor planters. But for a select few that meet the hands of inspired designers and master craftsmen, there comes a higher calling. These casks, which formerly cradled bourbon, Irish whiskey, and single malt scotch, have been reincarnated as beautiful and functional works of art, every bit the masterpiece of the whisky they once held.
Glenmorangie Original by Grain Surfboards—$5,500
Every surfer dreams of riding inside the barrel, but now you can ride on one. Produced in Maine, this limited-edition surfboard includes 12 barrel staves from Glenmorangie scotch casks. Using time-tested boatbuilding construction, Grain eschews modern methods of shaping foam to craft throwback wooden boards. Oak staves constitute the internal framework, and appear in the tailblock and custom fins.
Bilge Lounge Chair by Uhuru Design—$7,800
Brooklyn hip meets bourbon country in design group Uhuru’s Küpe line. The seat and back of this made-to-order chair are formed from Kentucky bourbon barrel staves, which can be refinished to natural wood or retain their char. The base, constructed from fire-truck leaf springs, is cantilevered, giving the Bilge Lounge gentle flex as you settle in with a whisky.
Bushmills x Black Bush Edition by Lowden Guitars—$11,000
Irish master luthier George Lowden has come a long way since making his first guitar at the age of 10 from bent nails and fishing line. For this masterful acoustic creation, Lowden sourced materials from Old Bushmills Distillery. Exquisite tone woods—African Blackwood and Alpine Spruce—are inlaid with oloroso sherry casks and copper from Bushmills’ stills, which also appears on the fretboard.
Whiskey Barrel Stave Chandelier by Umanoff—$875
Salvaged industrial materials like block and tackle and steel rotors feature prominently in the work of Virginia-based lighting designer Wendy Umanoff. Equally fitting in a vintage farmhouse or a modern loft, this minimal linear chandelier doesn’t so much transform as celebrate its single whiskey barrel stave, highlighting the natural curve of the cask.