Delicate demolition to recover thousands of barrels of bourbon.
A Kentucky distillery says efforts are underway to recover thousands of barrels of bourbon at a massive storage warehouse that partially collapsed during a thunderstorm.
O.Z. Tyler Distillery in Owensboro said a section of the warehouse has been “successfully deconstructed” and the painstaking process of recovering barrels is moving ahead as part of an overall plan to eventually take down the entire building, called a rickhouse.
Distillery officials say the warehouse cannot be salvaged.
“We are very pleased with the progress moving into the weekend and realize it will take some time to remove all barrels from the site, but our first concern, and priority, is safety,” master distiller Jacob Call said in an update posted on the distillery’s website.
The deconstruction plan calls for a “controlled collapse” of the entire warehouse at some point, Call said.
No one was injured when part of the rickhouse collapsed. The distillery said “minimal leakage” of bourbon has been reported.
The distillery said 19,400 barrels were aging in the warehouse, including about 4,500 barrels in the storm-damaged section.
Barrels are being plucked from the warehouse with the use of an “ultra-high reach demolition excavator,” the distillery said.
Read more here.