Buffalo Trace is Now Aging Bourbon in 300 Year Old Barrels

by Alexander Frane on Mar 31, 2017 in Culture

Oak barrels are an essential part of what makes bourbon bourbon. For one, there’s a legal requirement that bourbon be aged in newly charred oak containers. The style of oak, the time in the barrel, and the age of the oak can all have an impact on the flavor, which is why Buffalo Trace is trying a new approach: Aging its bourbon in barrels made from 300 year old oak.

The aging is part of a Distillery’s Experimental Program, which goes back more than twenty years. Distillers alter a range of variables to see what, if any, effects it might have on the spirit, including infrared light, non-traditional grains like rice and oats, warehouse variations, and more. Now, they’re experimenting with using 300 year old oak, an incredibly rare find as most oak trees live only to 200. Sourcing the oak for the barrels took over a year, and it took another year to create the barrels, but in December 2016, the distillery rolled them into an aging warehouse.

“It’s a unique opportunity to be able to experiment with a variable that is even older than our distillery, which is 244 years old,” Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley said. “We are really looking forward to seeing how extremely old wood might affect the taste of the bourbon, and hopefully will make some interesting observations along the way that will be useful going forward.”

The barrels are set to age for at least six years, and quite possibly longer, so we won’t get to try them anytime soon, though the barrels will be monitored each year to see how they’re changing. No matter how they come out, it’s an exciting project.

Photo via Flickr user patruby83 

Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Where to Toast the Solar Eclipse in Denver

Where to Toast the Solar Eclipse in Denver

Here are some places around town to celebrate the celestial light show....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Aug 15, 2017
Celebrate the Harvest at the 2017 Denver Food and Wine Festival

Celebrate the Harvest at the 2017 Denver Food and Wine Festival

All sorts of elevated eating and drinking will happen in the span of a few days. ...read more ›

by Carrie Dow Aug 11, 2017
SPONSORED
Resolute Brewing Company Celebrates One Year Anniversary
by Carrie Dow Aug 10, 2017
Things No One Asked For: Prosecco Donuts

Things No One Asked For: Prosecco Donuts

In case you were tired of drinking Prosecco the regular way, a New York bakery has introduced a new way to imbibe it: a Prosecco donut....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Aug 8, 2017
This New York Winery is Producing a Rose-Inspired Gin

This New York Winery is Producing a Rose-Inspired Gin

Can't decide between a gin & tonic and a glass of rose? Thanks to Wolffer Estate Vineyard's newest gin release, you don't have to choose....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Aug 8, 2017
Since Humans Aren't Creative Enough, Robots May Be Naming Our Beers Soon

Since Humans Aren't Creative Enough, Robots May Be Naming Our Beers Soon

Research scientist Janelle Shane decided to take matters into her own hands - well actually, the hands of robo...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Aug 8, 2017
Where to Find Beer and Om in Denver

Where to Find Beer and Om in Denver

Just like Denver's breweries, these yoga classes are inclusive and friendly so everyone can take part....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Aug 8, 2017
Taste 125 Years of History at The Brown Palace

Taste 125 Years of History at The Brown Palace

Now the public has a chance to taste some of that history because the hotel is celebrating its quasquicentennial with booze....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Aug 8, 2017
Mister Tuna Celebrates One Year with a Yacht Party

Mister Tuna Celebrates One Year with a Yacht Party

The Yacht Rock party begins at 9 PM with food and drink specials....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Aug 4, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close