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New floating cellar will house 1,500 barrels of fine spirits

Fine spirits producer Maison Ferrand has opened the world’s first floating ageing cellar, BARGE 166, on the banks of the Seine. The vessel will house premium rum, whisky and Cognac.

A 73-year-old river barge is the new home to around 1500 barrels of fine spirits bobbing on France’s most famous river.

The vessel, located on the river bank of the town of Issy-les-Moulineux, is the culmination of two years of research and development by the Cognac-based fine spirits producer Maison Ferrand; a project which began with finding the right barge and mooring location, and ended with a complete structural rebuild of the vessel in order to make room for the barrels.

In order to accommodate a maximum quantity of spirits on board, the boat’s engine had to be removed entirely.

As well as Maison Ferrand’s own Cognac and rum, Barge 166 will age collaborations with select spirits partners including Mackmyra Swedish Whisky.

The barrels will be studied closely to analyse the impact of dynamic ageing in the boat’s very humid cellar, which is expected to see significant temperature variations. Consumers will also be able to buy and personalise a barrel.

The Freycinet style barge, which dates back to 1948, has been designed to house approximately 1,500 custom-made 30-litre barrels.

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