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Spanish Cedar Barrels?


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Does anyone here have any experience using Spanish cedar (Cedrela odorata) barrels for aging spirits? I'm in the Galapagos Islands and it's the only real wood available locally other than matasarno (Piscidia carthagenensis). I'm looking to make a local corn whisky.

It's not a true cedar, more closely related to mahogany. I've read a few scattered mentions of it being used to age some whiskies and rums, as well as some scattered forum posts on hobbyist sites, but no real details about the outcome.

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18 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

It's listed in the FDA poisonous plants database, not sure why.

So are apples and pretty much every other plant found in North America. 🙃

(the seeds contain cyanide)

Mile Hi sells Spanish cedar spirals and there's at least one Japanese whisky aged in Spanish cedar barrels. I know people out there are using it, I'm just curious to find out what kind of outcomes they've encountered.

We're trying to bring as little as possible into the Galapagos to run our operation. Spanish cedar is an introduced species here. It was planted by the original settlers for construction, but now it's not used so much (replaced by masonry) and the National Park is trying to find ways to incentivize cutting them down so that the slower growing native plants can get some sun.

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20 hours ago, Brewstilla said:

get into the cigar game instead 

I had some shares in a cigar operation in Nicaragua back in the day. It was nice to get all those free cigars, but the business is definitely going extinct.

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