Bamboo is one of the most sustainable woods in the world, and therefore the question of whether or not one might consider using it as the material in barrel manufacturing and aging is a very good one. But alas, while I know of one spirits producer in China that utilizes bamboo, it is extremely uncommon, and for good reasons.

Bamboo is not a strong or thick enough wood to be split into staves that can then be formed into barrels, so instead, those that choose to use bamboo in place of traditional oak or other hardwood take advantage of each section of the bamboo plant being its own mini-barrel, if you will, introducing the spirit into the section of the trunk via pressure injection.

Because there is no way to really clean this section prior to injecting the liquid, the spirit mingles with the sap and other flavors inside the trunk, imparting a medicinal and vegetal flavor to the resulting spirit. Although some experts in China think it is incredibly beneficial to one’s health, the practice probably won’t have widespread appeal.

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In addition, injecting the spirit directly into the sections of the plant results in lots of liquid loss, as the bamboo winds up absorbing a fair amount of the spirit, which isn’t terribly good for a manufacturer’s bottom line.