Madeva offers a cost effective solution for barrel rejuvenation without compromising your final product or extending your production time.


The cost of new barrels have been steadily rising over time. As a result of these high barrel costs, distillers worldwide are dealing with higher production expenses, fewer choices for aging their spirits, and challenges in their supply chain.

This has prompted distillers to reuse their current barrels or adopt alternative methods to recondition them. Madeva is an alternative to new and reconditioned barrels that is simpler, more cost effective, highly efficient in processing with no hidden costs.


The cost of barrels over the last 5 years has grown significantly, much of this lead by the price of French oak barrels however its equivalent American oak counterpart has also experienced significant price increase. This has pushed many distillers to extend the number of barrel fills as well as their use of mechanical rejuvenation (strip & char). These are key strategies but come at a price of reduced maturation effect.

Barrel Prices

Percentage result

Price per effective litre

American oak barrels cost $600, used over 3 fills are $200 per use
Reconditioned barrels used over 3 fills are $66 per use

Each fill depletes the essential phenols, compounds, color and components in a barrel resulting in a ‘weaker’ end product, this often requires distillers and blenders to making use of older product or new aged spirit in an attempt to boost overall quality.

In order to better quantify the cost of ageing in varying barrel ages one must take into account the ‘overall effect’ of ageing in older barrels and then comparing to the underlying cost of these barrels.


before considering application variation and hidden costs of barrels and alternatives (see below)


In order to provide a simple comparison that ignores non-metric measures such as staves of varying lengths, widths and thicknesses or round poles of differing dimensions a base comparison of the cost of Madeva has been carried out against oak chips.

Both measures are easy to compare in mL, grams, barrels and litres, in addition the cost of chips can be sourced both from the spirits and wine industries providing a better basis for comparison against the addition of Madeva.

Chips are both simple to manufacture, package, transport and apply and are considered to be the lowest point of comparison from a cost perspective.

Madeva Vs Chips


Like with oak barrels there are major criteria that will impact on the results that can be achieved by using oak additions, given this the process of comparing the costs of using additions with one another and with Madeva is affected by these criteria.


barrel cost

The concentration of adjunct added is a key consideration in determining its cost.

In many cases suppliers of alternatives quote a minimum dosage value rather than what is going to provide the distiller the effect that they are looking for.


Unit of measure

Alternatives come in a variety of formats and dosage methods, from adding a number of staves per barrel to grams of chips per litre.

Comparing and analysing the real cost per litre treated is challenging, leaving distillers often unsure of what additions really cost.


Surface Area

The result delivered by an oak addition will depend on the type of material. This ranges from poles and staves that have varying levels of thickness to chips and powders which may be very fine. The amount of surface area each has directly impacts on the level of oak maturation that takes place and needs to be considered in the cost of treatment.


Age of barrel

All additions are added to the oak barrel where the spirit is aged and these additions still work together with the barrel.

Product added into a first fill barrel will work better than in 20 year old barrel, although we see greater use of oak additions in 3rd fill and older barrels which are mostly depleted.



Stacking & Destacking

The addition of planks, staves, poles and chips as well as refurbishment of barrels, all require barrel stacks to be broken down and reset between fills.

This is a significant amount of work for the distillery.

Absorption losses

Additions such as chips, poles, staves and others all need to absorb distillate (still strength) which is then lost once inserts have been discarded after use.

This represents a real cost to the distiller of up to $15 per barrel.


The same addition of inserts can occupy up to 6 liters or 2.5% of the barrel volume.

This means that the distiller is able to produce less finished product and requires more barrels (and therefore costs) to age spirits.

Labor costs

The work required to stack and destack barrels, add inserts remove inserts is substantial. The removal of chips from barrels is even more time consuming and complicated.

All of these have a labor cost associated with this approach.

Madeva can be applied directly to the barrel no de-stacking required.

Madeva does not absorb distillate

Madeva does not displace distillate

Madeva has negligible labor cost for application

Madeva is a cost effective, natural and simple barrel rejuvenation solution with no hidden costs.