Buffalo Trace Distillery releases the tenth round of the Single Oak Project Bourbon and there are new barrels in the lead!  Barrel number 106 has been knocked off its perch, and instead, barrel number 59 is currently in the lead, with barrels number 92 and number 188 respectively, close behind.

This tenth release in the Single Oak Project focuses on different entry proofs, and is an excellent opportunity to compare the wheat and rye recipes at two different proofs entered into the barrel, 105 proof and 125 proof.  The wood grain size varies on this release between coarse, average or tight, but all other variables remain constant, such as char level, tree cut, stave seasoning, and aging warehouse. 

So far, more than 2,800 industry expert and consumer reviews have been logged online with many reviewers tasting and scoring multiple bottles.  But Buffalo Trace Distillery encourages more people to get involved with the project and try their hand at reviewing.

“We’re not expecting everyone who participates to own and taste all 196 bottles. With just a few bottles, one can experience and learn the subtle differences and discover more about their own taste preferences,” says Kris Comstock, bourbon-marketing director.  “It’s an excellent opportunity to find out if your preference is for wheat or rye recipe bourbons, and a higher or lower entry proof. Moving forward, insights like these can help you be a more knowledgeable bourbon connoisseur and help you in your bourbon selection.”

The Single Oak Project is part of an intensive research project Buffalo Trace Distillery started conducting in 1999 by hand picking 96 trees with different wood grains and then dividing them into a top and bottom piece, yielding 192 unique sections. From there, staves were created from each section and were air dried for either 6 months or 12 months. After all the staves were air dried, a single barrel was created from each tree section, resulting in 192 total barrels. These barrels were given either a number three or a number four char and then filled with either wheat or rye recipe bourbon.

To further the variety of experiments, the barrels were filled at two different proofs, 105 and 125 proof.  And if this wasn’t enough, two completely different warehouses were used, one with wooden floors and one with concrete floors.  In total, seven different variables were employed in Buffalo Trace’s ultimate experiment.

For eight years the Distillery continued with its tracking process, creating intricate databases and coming up with a potential of 1,396 tasting combinations from these 192 barrels.

The Single Oak Project Bourbon is being released in a series every three months from 2011 through 2015 until all of the 192 barrels have been released. The first release hit select stores in 2011.  This tenth release will reach stores towards the end of August. Like all the other releases, the quantities are very limited. Every case will contain 12 bottles, each from a different barrel. The ninth release is made up of barrel numbers 9, 25, 41, 57, 73, 89, 105, 121, 137, 153, 169, and 185. All releases will be packaged in a 375ml bottle.

At the conclusion of the Single Oak Project, the Distillery plans to take the top rated Single Oak Project Bourbon and make more just like it, under the Single Oak name.

Beverage, Industry News