When Buffalo Trace started its whiskey experiments more than three decades ago, one of the first releases was bourbon aged in French oak barrels. That bourbon was aged ten years and released in 2006, quickly becoming a favourite of both the master distiller and bourbon connoisseurs.
|Buffalo Trace's two new French oak barrel aged bourbons|
are their first two Experimental Collection Releases of 2015
Ten years ago, Buffalo Trace embarked on another French oak experiment, but this time endeavouring one step further, creating two different barrel types, one made entirely of French oak and another using French oak heads, but with American white oak staves.
The barrels were both constructed with Buffalo Trace’s exact specifications as far as size, stave drying and charring. The barrel staves were air-dried for six months and the barrels were charred for 55 seconds. Both of these experimental barrels were filled with the same bourbon recipe, known as Buffalo Trace Rye Bourbon Mash #1.
After ten years of aging, these two bourbons have been bottled as part of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Experimental Collection, and referred to as 100% French Oak Barrel Aged Bourbon and French Oak Barrel Head Aged Bourbon.
These barrels are part of more than 3,000 experimental barrels of whiskey aging in the warehouses of Buffalo Trace Distillery. Each of them has unique characteristics that differentiate them in distinct ways. Some examples of experiments include unique mash bills, types of wood, and different barrel toasts.
Buffalo Trace has increased its commitment to experimentation with the recent addition of its Warehouse X. Although small in size, Warehouse X is designed to explore the extent of environmental influences on the flavour profiles of whiskey.
Commenting on the first Experimental Collection release of 2015, Buffalo Trace Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley, said: “These bourbons, when tasted side by side, are complementary but yet have subtle differences. Both are nice, well-rounded bourbons, but the 100% French oak bourbon has more soft, fruity notes to it, while the bourbon made with the French oak heads and American oak staves offers more of a smoky oak and tannin flavour profile.”
Harlen went on to say: “It’s interesting to compare these two bourbons to each other and also to our standard bourbon offerings. These French oak experiments offer aunique flavour profile from our standard bourbon barrels. That’s one of the things that make our experiments so fun; we never stop learning how subtle changes can alter the taste profile.”
Both of the Experimental Collection bottlings are bottled at 45% ABV and will be available later this month for a RRP of $46.35.
Source: Buffalo Trace Distillery