Exploring the Unique Expression of Spanish Oak in Whiskey Making
Buffalo Trace Distillery has been actively exploring the world of whiskey through its Old Charter Oak Series. It is an experimental series that utilizes barrel staves from different types of oak trees in order to create unique and complex flavor profiles in its whiskey. Recently, the distillery added a new expression to this series, the Old Charter Oak Spanish Oak.
What Makes Spanish Oak Unique?
Spanish Oak is a type of oak tree that primarily grows in Spain and Portugal. What makes this type of oak special compared to others used in whiskey making is its porousness. This means that it allows for more interaction between the whiskey and the wood, allowing for a deeper and richer flavor profile. Spanish Oak also has a higher concentration of the compound vanillin which imparts a sweet, vanilla aroma to the whiskey.
The Making of Old Charter Oak Spanish Oak
The Old Charter Oak Spanish Oak is made using the distillery’s mash bill number two, a high-rye recipe that has been aged for eleven years in oak barrels. The whiskey is then finished in barrels made from Spanish Oak staves. The barrels have been air-dried for over a year, toasting them to a level three char, creating a medium Toast level.
The result of this process is a whiskey with a deep, russet color and a complex aroma. On the nose, one can detect notes of caramel and vanilla with hints of fruit and spice. The whiskey has a smooth and velvety mouthfeel with a rich flavor profile that includes vanilla, caramel, and dried fruits, with a hint of spice and pepper. The finish is long and warming, leaving a satisfying sweetness that lingers on the palate.
The Old Charter Oak Series
Old Charter Oak Series is an annual release from Buffalo Trace Distillery that explores different oak trees from around the world. Each year, the distillery chooses a different type of oak and uses it to create a unique and limited-edition expression. The series began in 2018 with the release of the French Oak expression and has since explored releases such as Mongolian Oak, Canadian Oak, and now Spanish Oak.
The Old Charter Oak Series is a testament to Buffalo Trace Distillery’s commitment to exploring the boundaries of whiskey making. By experimenting with different types of oak, the distillery is creating unique and complex flavor profiles that cannot be found in any other whiskey.
Buffalo Trace Distillery’s latest addition to the Old Charter Oak Series, Spanish Oak, is a unique and flavorful expression. Made using the distillery’s high-rye mash bill, aged for eleven years in oak barrels, and finished in toasted Spanish Oak barrels, the whiskey has a deep and complex flavor profile that includes notes of vanilla, caramel, and dried fruits. The Old Charter Oak Series is an annual release that explores different types of oak trees from around the world, showcasing the distillery’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of whiskey exploration.