What is a Bung? A bung is the stopper used to seal a barrel. They are generally made of popular lumber but can be of other wood species as well. The bung hole is usually located on the side of the barrel in one of the staves called the bung stave. Used barrels may have a second bung hole drilled in to the head of the barrel making it easier for a distiller to periodically taste their distillate.
What is a Spile: A spile is a small wooden conical or square peg used to close holes or cracks in a barrel. Rather than removing the bung, distillers will often drill a sampling hole in a stave or the head of a barrel to draw off a sample. Once the sample is removed, the distiller will quickly plug the hole with a spile.