Buffalo Trace Distillery’s New Spanish Oak Explores Whiskey Boundaries

Buffalo Trace Distillery’s New Spanish Oak Explores Whiskey Boundaries

The Unrestrained Journey of Buffalo Trace Distillery: Introducing Spanish Oak from the Old Charter Oak Series

If you are a fan of whiskey, and a particularly adventurous one, you’ve probably found yourself intrigued by the never-ending experiments run behind the doors of Buffalo Trace Distillery. With age-old techniques honed to perfection and a constant pursuit for bold and innovative flavors, the distillery is synonymous with whiskey exploration. Their latest release, the Spanish Oak expression in the Old Charter Oak series, further cements this reputation.

The Adventurous Journey of the Old Charter Oak Series

The Old Charter Oak series can aptly be described as the embodiment of whiskey exploration. It is an audacious project that pushes the boundaries of whiskey aging through the use of different oak varieties. Far from the traditional American white oak barrels primarily used in the distilling industry, the series experiments with several types of oak from corners across the globe.

The idea behind this oak-inspired series stems from the varying characteristics of different oak varieties: the density, grain structure, and growth rate, which all play critical roles in flavoring the spirit during the aging process. Using these varied oaks, the distillery has managed to create an array of whiskies, each with distinct flavor profiles.

The Emergence of Spanish Oak

The Tale Behind the Wood

The Spanish Oak is an exquisite addition to this series. The oak for these barrels was sourced from forests in Spain, where the trees are often left to grow for over a hundred years before being harvested. These mature, tight-grained trees are processed into staves that dry in the open air for several years. This meticulous process adds a unique complexity to the wood which then translates into the whiskey it shelters.

Aging Process

Upon arrival at the distillery, the staves are assembled into barrels following a precisely timed charring process. The Spanish Oak barrels are then filled with the distillate and sent to Buffalo Trace Distillery’s aging warehouses. Here, the barrels and their contents are left to mature for years as the challenging Kentucky climate works its magic on the spirit within.

A Taste of the Spanish Oak

Flavor Profile

Your first encounter with the Spanish Oak will be marked by a beautiful, dark amber color. On the nose, this whiskey delivers an intriguing blend of caramel and baked fruit, warming spices and hints of toasted oak. Your first sip introduces a complex bouquet of flavors, with an upfront sweet note followed by rich layers of dried fruit, fig, maple syrup, and a hint of almond. The finish is long and fulfilling, with lingering notes of heavy spice and semisweet chocolate, a testament to the age and complexities of the Spanish Oak.

Strength and Availability

This expression is offered at 92 proof, a considerable strength that sits with the Buffalo Trace tradition of delivering a characterful punch. This availability is limited, which is no surprise given the unique source of the oak and the aging time required. Thus, it’s suggested to keep an eye out for its inclusion in any retail location.

In Conclusion

This latest venture into the uncharted territories of bourbon science is a refreshing take on traditional whiskey brewing process. The Spanish Oak expression not only diversifies the overall portfolio of Buffalo Trace Distillery but also confirms their position as pioneers in the realm of whiskey exploration. If you are a whiskey aficionado or simply adventurous at heart, don’t miss the chance to experience this unique flavor journey with Spanish Oak.

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Written by Daniel Davis

Daniel Davis has been writing about spirits for over 10 years. He is a frequent speaker at whiskey festivals and events around the country and has been a judge at several international spirit competitions. He is passionate about educating people about the history and culture of whiskey and bourbon and loves to share his knowledge with others.

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