Cask Strength tells the story of the unsung hero of the world of spirits, wine, and beer and an invention as ancient and important as the wheel--the humble barrel. Discover the barrel's rich history, as well as the incredible skill and innovation that goes into producing your favourite drinks. From its first use by the Ancient Egyptians, the barrel has left an unmistakable imprint on human history. The Romans used the barrel in all corners of their vast empire, and explorers could not have charted the globe or opened up trade routes without barrels to store their food and water. And in all its thousands of years of use, the barrel's basic design has barely changed at all--a testament to its sheer and simple perfection. Cask Strength is more than a history book. In it, Mike Gerrard, an award-winning travel and drinks writer, investigates the making, buying, and selling of barrels and details how drinks like wine, tequila, rum, cognac, and others are enhanced by specific kinds of barrel production.