Loading... Please wait...

The Bourbon Lifestyle


Fine bourbon has always been a proud tradition for our family. We don't just make it, we live it. It's about surrounding yourself with family and friends. It's about sharing a conversation, showing your hospitality, celebrating the small things and doing it all with style. So for our friends and fellow bourbon aficionados, we hope you enjoy reading about the stories, traditions and southern recipes that make up what we call the bourbon lifestyle.

The Story Behind Our Moran Furniture Pieces

Posted on

Moran Woodworked Bourbon Barrel Furniture for Pappy & Company

Letter From the Artisans

At Moran Woodworked Furniture, wood matters. And Pappy Van Winkle white oak barrel staves have a history unlike any other. So, collaborating with Michael and Celia at Moran Woodworked was a natural fit. Known for their traditional craftsmanship and unique pieces, Pappy & Company is proud to share the story behind our three new pieces straight from the makers themselves.

About Moran Woodworked Furniture

In our 12 years of business, we’ve worked to distill down the most fundamental ideas our handmade objects — both bespoke and limited edition — must encompass. At its most basic, there are three interconnected values:

  1. Use traditional joinery and craftsmanship to build pieces that will last for generations to come.

  2. Commit to using wood that comes from responsible sources, and in doing so, protect and honor trees as a vital and beautiful natural resource.

  3. Design with a considered, modern aesthetic.

As partners in life and in business for almost eight of those 12 years, we have quite literally built our workshop in the woods of the Hudson Valley, far from our Southern roots. Michael grew up just a handful of miles from those unique waters that have produced Pappy Van Winkle bourbon for the last four generations.

Working With Pappy Bourbon Barrel Staves

Projects, such as the one the Pappy & Company Van Winkles’ brought us, are exciting and full of new challenges. American white oak Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels remain the most difficult to date. First and foremost, this is because every essential aspect of the stave — bent shape, thin width, charred interior, liquid saturation — is quite unusual for us. It quite literally already looks like something other than part of a tree; its barrel qualities became simultaneously our challenge and our inspiration.

Opening that first box of bits of bourbon barrel was a moment of trepidation. It also was one of olfactory pleasure. Our shop has held the deliciously pervasive smell of bourbon and oak sawdust since.

We often begin our process by selecting a single board of wood and letting it dictate the resulting design, but this stave wood would call for a deeper understanding of the material. It required us to actually start to work with the staves in order to find what could be possible. Design would have to come with time. And thus, it was experimentation that produced each of our designs.

Inspiration for Our 3 New Designs

Uncovering the wood dowels that held each round, cracked (from being saturated in bourbon and then dried out) barrelhead together ultimately led to its reconstitution as a flat table surface. It is, like the original, planed, similarly joined and routed, retaining its identity and marks of use in each filled dark tapping hole.

For the lamp, it was attempting to flatten out on the widest staves by planing down thin layers of the concave curve that gave us a glimpse of the charred black shadow that exists when most of the surface is flat.

The chair might not exist if the shear strength and relative consistency of the long stave curve hadn’t been noted. While still being unquestionably a chair, its design is predicated on it remaining more stave-like. The gentle curve keeps the original routed ends to maximize length, comfort and flexibility, and the contrast in color is derived from the original char.

For each of the three designs, the final component for this modern conversion was the addition of solid, unlaquered brass in both structural and aesthetic aspects. In this conversation and juxtaposition between metal and oak, we honor the Van Winkle family memories of ornate, heavy, old brass keys locking the distillery doors after a family visit.

We hope to have found balance and inspiration in keeping essential natural characteristics of the barrel while reinterpreting each aspect anew. With this project we were investigating reuse through a new lens; trying to hold an attentive conversation between the history of use and the language of modern, fine furniture. Pappy’s simple, uncompromising descriptor “always fine bourbon” held us to account for quality as we crafted each Moran Woodworked Furniture object for Pappy & Company.

From our hands to your home.

Sincerely,
Celia Gibson and Michael Moran
Moran Woodworked Furniture


Our Functional Works of Art

BARREL HEAD SIDE TABLE CHARRED OAK STAVE LAMP X OAK OCCASIONAL CHAIR

This side table design riffs on the routed edge put on the barrelhead during assembly.
Shop Now >>

Made from the widest part of the stave, each stylish white oak lamp has a truly unique char pattern.
Shop Now >>

This elegant, foldable seat has low, crossed staves for comfort indoors or outdoors.
Shop Now >>

A Spicy Summer Soiree

A Hot-Sauce Inspired Menu From Libbie Summers After the first tasting with our friends at Midland Ghost, we knew our exclusive hot sauce would be a hit. Our  Bourbon Barrel-aged Pepper Sauce is crafted with their infamous, locally grown, first-generation ghost peppers and then aged in Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels for a rich, smoky, oaky heat. It’s [...]

Read More »


Recipe: Pappy Mary Drinks

Hot, Spiced Bloody Mary Cocktails Start your next summer picnic or event with a refreshing take on the traditional bloody mary cocktail. Garnished with candied bacon, these Pappy Mary drinks with spicy Pappy Bourbon Barrel-aged Pepper Sauce are sure to get the party hopping. Libbie Summers, artistic director of her own lifestyle brand, “A Food-Inspired Life,” and [...]

Read More »


Recipe: Spicy Southern Snack Mix

Party Mix Spiced With Pappy Pepper Sauce A party mix is great to set out as guests arrive, get their beverages and start to mingle. Spice up your standard snack mix with our barrel-aged hot sauce. Then, unless the entire party can gather around one bowl, provide paper pouches for guest to fill up and snack [...]

Read More »


Recipe: Hummus Packin’ Heat

Hot Pepper Spiced Hummus Do your best not to double dip when enjoying this tasty, spicy hummus recipe. Libbie’s Hummus Packin’ Heat, featuring our Pappy hot sauce, is great to serve at your next summer picnic or block party. Try it with fresh garden veggies, pita bread pieces or your favorite crackers. Libbie Summers, artistic director of [...]

Read More »


Recipe: Hot Sticky Toffee Chicken Wings

Sweet & Spicy Homemade Wings When it comes to party food, just wing it! These Hot Sticky Toffee Chicken Wings will wow guests at your summer soiree. Sweet toffee meets our smoky Pappy hot sauce for moist chicken pieces and a finger-licking sauce. Make sure you have enough napkins to go around! Libbie Summers, artistic director of [...]

Read More »


Recipe: No-churn Sweet Burn Ice Cream

Fast & Curiously Wonderful Ice Cream No party is complete without dessert, and for a spicy summer soiree, this hot sauce ice cream is a dream. Who knew Pappy Bourbon Barrel-aged Pepper Sauce could be used in a dessert? Libbie’s No-churn Sweet Burn Ice Cream serves up surprisingly delightful heat in a frozen dessert. Make in advance for an easy, [...]

Read More »


A Maple Inspired Meal

A Delightful Menu From Libbie Summers At Pappy & Company, we think our Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-aged Pure Maple Syrup is pretty special. Libbie Summers, artistic director of her own lifestyle brand, “A Food-Inspired Life,” thinks so too. We partnered with her to bring you a maple syrup inspired meal, using our delicious Bourbon Barrel-aged Maple Syrup. [...]

Read More »


Recipe: Fresh Lemonade With Maple Ice Cubes

Add Sweetness With Giant Maple-spiked Cubes Discover an easy way to impress guests at your next party or summer picnic. Learn how to make Maple Ice Cubes for lemonade and other summer drinks with Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-aged Pure Maple Syrup from Pappy & Company.Here at Pappy & Company, we’ve partnered with Libbie Summers, [...]

Read More »


Recipe: Maple Sweet Pea Bruschetta

Smashed Spring Peas and Sweet Maple Crostini A fresh take on the traditional bruschetta appetizer, this maple, sweet pea version is fast and easy for parties and entertaining. It has common pantry and garden ingredients, and is ready in no time. Let the kids (and adults) play with their food and assemble their own crostini. It’s [...]

Read More »