Sherry casks. They weren't always what they seemed.
Let me give one instance, and with all due deference to any distiller who may be present, I think that he will admit my point. I have known of hogsheads (54—55 gallons), sherry shaped, being made and sold at 15s. to 16s. These were shipped to the Continent; they bore no mark, either of maker or manufacturer, yet a father should surely know his child, as it were. I have seen these hogsheads, made by myself, within a few weeks' time in varied distilleries, having been imported from the Continent as fresh sherry casks. Inside, you found a nice crust, as if they had been for years in some old vaults, but, alas, were purely so manufactured, manufactured to sell at 36s. to 40s., with but small cost to the seller, and little advantage, if in many cases any, at all to the bonder. Do we not in many instances thus play into the hands of the foreigner, without knowing the disastrous results that follow to workmen in our own country."
"Journal of the Institute of Brewing, Volume 12", 1906, pages 690-691.
What a scandal. Johnny Foreigner buying cheap casks and making them look as if they'd been used to store sherry. The cheating bastards.