Product Care

Caring for your Whiskey & Whitetails Products

Whiskey & Whitetails barrel stave products are designed to be used as soon as you receive them. As with any wood products, however, care should be taken to ensure they continue to serve their purpose and retain their unique beauty and craftsmanship.

  • Avoid Extreme Temperatures - avoid leaving your Whiskey & Whitetail products in extreme cold or heat. While some of our products can be regularly enjoyed outdoors, we always recommend storing in a climate controlled environment.
  • Cleaning - If you spill a drink or handle the products with messy hands we recommend wiping the product down with a damp cloth. Avoid harsh cleaners or detergents. Products are finished with a natural tung oil to help protect them but wiping them down and keeping them clean will ensure your products look beautiful for years to come.


What is this white residue on my whiskey barrel stave product?

While we do our best to dry our wood, there can be remnants of whiskey from the distiller in some pieces. Over time this can evaporate and work its way to the surface of the wood. Following the cleaning instructions above, this can be removed with a damp cloth and is sometimes just a part of working with real whiskey barrel staves!

My cocktail smoking block doesn't seem to be creating any smoke. What can I do?

If you notice that your cocktail smoking block is not creating as much smoke as you'd like, it's likely that there is too much char in the center piece of the smoking block. Using a putty knife or other tool, simply scrape off the excess to uncover less charred wood and you should be back to normal! Enjoy your smoked cocktails!

The torch included with my smoked cocktail gift set doesn't work, does it require fuel?

Yes. Unfortunately, shipping regulations prohibit Whiskey & Whitetails from shipping our torches with fuel. However, lighter butane can be obtained from most hardware stores and convenience stores near the register. The photo to the right indicates the receiving port at the bottom of the torch where butane can be filled.


I've never smoked cocktails before, how do I use my smoked cocktail gift set or smoking block?

Smoking your own cocktails couldn't be easier. Simply char the center portion of the barrel stave smoking block until burning red, then place your glass over to capture the tastes and aromas in the glass. The video below offers detailed instructions. 


 What is a good Old Fashioned Recipe I could try with my kit?

If you purchased the full kit, including the Bittermilk Old Fashioned Cocktail mixer then you should have received a recipe card with your order (If not, we've placed it below). There is also a recipe on the Bittermilk bottle itself. Bittermilk is our preferred mixer for an easy, great Old Fashioned!

How do I use the wood chips that I selected with my cocktail smoking kit?

To use the wood chips, simply place a few pieces on your bourbon barrel stave smoker block as pictured below and light them the same way you would the block by itself. It's really that simple. With that said, we provide the apple wood and cherry wood chips as an addition to our smoker kits because many customers like the idea of trying to play with different flavors. Truth is, we DON'T recommend using them at all!! That's right, we don't recommend the chips but we do offer them because customers request it. We find that the white oak and natural flavors from the whiskey soaked into the smoker block provide a far superior flavor profile. But, we're also not in the business of telling anyone how to drink their whiskey. We just like to provide new ways to enjoy old favorites!

Turkey Calls

Like anything made by hand from wood, there are things you need to do to ensure your piece sounds good enough and lasts long enough that you can pass it down to your grandkids one day.

First and Foremost: NEVER leave a turkey call in a hot truck. The high temperatures can cause the wood to move and the striking surface or soundboard can be popped from the call, effectively ruining it, and there is very little we can do to salvage it. We do everything we can to try to mitigate wood movement, but it is something that can not be completely stopped, especially throughout the year as temperature and humidity changes. 

Take care to avoid prolonged exposure to moisture. While the finish we use on the calls is a high quality polymerizing oil finish formulated for gun stocks, moisture is bad for wood finishes.
For slate (grey, green, red, & purple) calls, They can be strike anywhere, or you can take some 180 grit sandpaper and create a horizontal parallel scratch pattern by moving the sandpaper in a SINGLE direction (not swirls, not up and down, just left and right), and work the striker perpendicular to the scratched lines.

For glass calls, we have chemically etched a striking surface into the glass. This etched area tends to act like a strike-anywhere surface, similar to a slate. Working 120 grit sandpaper in a left and right motion to create a parallel scratch pattern, and striking perpendicular to the scratches, can change the sound.
For strikers, if the tip has become “burnished” or worn slick with use, use 180 grit (for slate call) or 120 grit (for glass calls) and gently rough up the striker tip.


 Deer Grunt Tubes

Like our other bourbon barrel crafted calls, taking care of your call is essential to ensuring consistent performance for years to come. We recommend NEVER leaving your grunt tube in a hot vehicle for extended periods of time and doing your very best not to expose it to extreme elements. Should your call get wet due to rain in the stand, you can dry it off and disassemble it as you would to adjust the call tone to allow it to dry more efficiently. Take a look at the video below for more information on how to disassemble your call to adjust the tone quality to mimic various types of whitetail deer.


Duck Calls

Our bourbon barrel duck calls should be treated like any other high quality, hand made wooden duck call. We recommend NOT leaving it in a hot vehicle or in direct sun for extended periods of time and we recommend avoiding full submersion in water. You can carefully separate the barrel of the call from the reed insert if you need to clean it, just do so with care and do not use unnecessary force when separating or rejoining the two pieces. 

Should you ever have questions about the care of your products or experience an issue, please feel free to reach out to us at and we'll be happy to assist you.