Pleasing on the eye & palate: Hip flask with fine veneer

Bad Honnef. A fine drop is best enjoyed in a fine vessel. The two managing directors of Gentlecask, Denis Merkel and Steve Wiedelmann, are absolutely convinced of this. And so, with plenty of love and passion, the two young Berlin entrepreneurs produce unique hip flasks with fine veneer surfaces. “For us, wood is and always has been an incredibly great and fascinating material, which has convincing uniqueness,” said Merkel. The idea of finishing hip flasks with veneer came to him while hiking in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains a sandstone mountain range in Saxon Switzerland.

A good friend of Merkel had a “simple” hip flask with him during a camping weekend - filled with top Scottish single malt. While hiking, they stopped to enjoy the wonderful panorama view of the Carola rock face of the Schrammsteine and Falkenstein peaks, as well as the rocks of north-western area of Saxon Switzerland and took a small swig from the hip flask. Against this idyllic backdrop in the middle of beautiful nature, the trained carpenter Merkel had the idea that the metal body of the hip flask would become enchanting if combined with the natural material veneer.

No sooner said than done: Merkel implemented his idea together with an old schoolfriend, Steve Wiedelmann, also a trained carpenter. However, it took a long time before they succeeded in producing their first perfectly made hip flask with veneer surface. It took the two friends many hours and a great deal of effort before they had developed a production process in which the veneer is perfectly attached to the hip flask blank made of safe pewter and the composition of veneer and pewter was also aesthetically convincing. They opted for blanks made of pewter, because these are still produced individually in the old traditional way in Sheffield, England. This means that both the blank and the veneer used are each a high-quality one-off item. The company name was also chosen after much deliberation. Whisky is stored in wooden casks to gently mature the precious liquid. The chosen company name “Gentlecask” is derived from this.

Gentlecask flasks with a jacket made of birch, walnut or apple veneer are currently very much in demand. The two entrepreneurs only use fsc certified veneers from sustainably managed forests for the wood jacket. Special adhesive from the automotive and aviation industry ensures that the bonding between wood and metal is permanent. The wood is then treated with a biological hard oil. The Gentlecask company also cooperates with “plant-my-tree”, an organisation that has set itself the objective of additional reafforestation in Germany to bind CO2. Specifically, the CO2 consumption resulting from the production and disposal of a hip flask is compensated for by reafforestation. Over the course of its life, a single planted deciduous tree binds roughly 1 tonne CO2 and this corresponds to around 660 hip flasks made by Gentlecask.

“The veneered hip flasks are a good example of the diverse possible uses of the natural material veneer. Whether birch, walnut, apple - hip flasks with a veneer jacket are impressive due to their fascinating and unique combination of fine materials and a very natural look,” said the Secretary of Initiative Furnier + Natur (IFN), Ursula Geismann. IFN/RK

Initiative Furnier + Natur (IFN)
Initiative Furnier + Natur (IFN) e.V. was founded in 1996 by the German veneer industry and its partners. The purpose of the association based in Bad Honnef is to promote veneer as a material. It is funded and supported by European companies in the veneer industry, trade and the veneer processing industry as well as professional associations of the timber industry.


2018-10-18_PM-2018-IFN-furnierter Flachmann 1.jpg (0.92 MB)
2018-10-18_PM-2018-IFN-furnierter Flachmann 2.jpg (1.11 MB)

Photo 1: Hand-made hip flask with a jacket made of apple veneer. The wood has been brushed to highlight the wood texture and to obtain a unique feel. Photo: Gentlecask

Photo 2: Hip flask with walnut veneer, which has a wonderful grain. Photo: Gentlecask