Distinctive whiskey can work its way through many levels of impossible detail and even precision over the years, but sometimes, the difference is staring right back at you: The wood used to age said spirit, of course. The Buffalo Trace Old Charter Oak series takes things a step further, exploring different oak tree varieties to deliver even deeper character.
And the latest effort to hit the Buffalo Trace Old Charter Oak lineup? A whiskey aged in Spanish Oak, joining counterparts aged in innovative wood varietals from Mongolia and Canada, among others.
Spanish Oak is most commonly used in aging fine sherry, and lends itself to a final product that “is drier, spicier and has stronger wood input.”
And seeing as sherry casks are bountiful throughout the spirits world at the moment (particularly in Scotch), it follows that Buffalo Trace would add its own twist to Kentucky straight bourbon.
American Oak commonly delivers sweeter, softer notes, especially vanilla and caramel, but Spanish Oak is an innovative and exciting challenge.
“We specifically wanted to test Spanish Oak as part of this collection because of its connection to sherry, which is known to be a nuttier, fruitier spirit,” said Harlen Wheatley, master distiller at Buffalo Trace. “We were curious how those flavors would impact the taste of whiskey, and we are very pleased with the result.”
The Old Charter Oak series covers a wide swath in terms of taste profiles, and one might say it’s almost a science or forestry experiment all its own: Different wood, climate and soil leads to barrels that deliver remarkably different whiskey.
“We are deeply committed to honoring the traditions of our category but also embracing change and pushing the limits of innovation to see where American whiskey can go in the future,” Wheatley said, adding that the entire series is “a superb example of trying new things” and pushing boundaries for longtime Buffalo Trace fans.
Innovation and all, Buffalo Trace fans can add a bottle to their bar cart (premium packaging included) for a suggested retail price of $69.99, a worthwhile way to test out what should prove a delicious twist on a reliable favorite.