When it comes to whisky, much is made of the types of barrels it's aged in, as different types of wood yield different influences on the flavor. Balvenie's popular Doublewood, for instance, spends most of its 12 years in a Whisky Oak cask that "mellows the maturing spirit and imparts gentle, warming layers of vanilla spiciness" before being transferred to a Sherry Oak cask that brings "fruity and honeyed depths" to the malt.
Something you never hear about is what happens to that wood once the barrels are through. But Scotch whisky manufacturers seeking an eco-friendly means of barrel disposal now have a nifty solution: U.K.-based McKay Flooring Limited is repurposing old whiskey casks by turning them into flooring.
The barrels retain their original lettering, although they're laid down in scrambled order. And "many people wonder," writes the company, "if the flooring retains the aroma of fine malt whisky. It's a good question and probably depends on how vivid your imagination is."