Filling whisky casks at Bruichladdich distillery, Isle of Islay.
Normally casks are filled through the bung hole in the centre of the stave half way up the cask, then casks are stored longways up to three high in a dunnage warehouse or racked to greater heights for more efficiency. However there is a more modern trend to stack the casks end on six to a pallet and then the pallets are stacked on top of each other. This makes better use of full height warehouses but it doesn’t have the charm of a dunnage warehouse.
If the casks are to be stored on pallets then the casks need to be filled (although not necessarily emptied) from the end, so a new bung hole is created for this.
This picture shows the point at which the cask has been (over)filled! and the bung is being hammered into place, the surplus spirit being momentarily being thrown into the air.