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:
 
Hold Onto Your Eggos: Chicago Now Has a 'Stranger Things' Pop Up Bar

Hold Onto Your Eggos: Chicago Now Has a 'Stranger Things' Pop Up Bar

Grab your compasses and head to The Upside Down, a Stranger Things themed pop up bar in Chicago situated in Em...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Aug 22, 2017
Best Bars For Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2017

Best Bars For Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2017

Whether it's to enjoy the first warm breezes of spring or the summer's sunshine, Philadelphia is full of great places to drink in the great outdoors....read more ›

by Drink Philly Apr 11, 2017
SPONSORED
Skybrunch Rectanlge Ad
Skygarten is Hosting a Solar Eclipse Watch Party on Monday, August 21

Skygarten is Hosting a Solar Eclipse Watch Party on Monday, August 21

Philadelphia's tallest beer garden, Skygarten, will host a solar eclipse watch party on Monday, August 21 from...read more ›

by Drink Philly Aug 20, 2017
Tackle Sexism in the Brewing Industry at Women in Brewing Symposium, August 20

Tackle Sexism in the Brewing Industry at Women in Brewing Symposium, August 20

The Philadelphia chapter of the Pink Boots Society and the Brewing Sciences Program at the University of the S...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Aug 15, 2017
A Brewery in Scotland is Marketing the 'World's Strongest Beer'

A Brewery in Scotland is Marketing the 'World's Strongest Beer'

A Scottish brewery, Brewmeister, is marketing the strongest beer in the world: Snake Venom....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Aug 15, 2017
In Case You Had Forgotten, Drew Barrymore Tells Us How to Drink Wine

In Case You Had Forgotten, Drew Barrymore Tells Us How to Drink Wine

Back in April, Drew Barrymore sat down for an interview with Vogue about her latest rose from her wine company...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Aug 15, 2017
Philly's Best Happy Hours: $3 Appetizers, $4 Beers, & $5 Wines at The Dandelion

Philly's Best Happy Hours: $3 Appetizers, $4 Beers, & $5 Wines at The Dandelion

This week's installment is all about The Dandelion, Stephen Starr's British gastropub in the heart of Rittenho...read more ›

by Drink Philly Aug 15, 2017
Effen Vodka is Hosting a Free Live Art Demonstration by Lefty Out There Featuring $8 Cocktails, August 11

Effen Vodka is Hosting a Free Live Art Demonstration by Lefty Out There Featuring $8 Cocktails, August 11

Join Effen Vodka on Friday, August 11 at James Restaurant and Lounge for a free live art demonstration by Left...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Aug 11, 2017
SEED Fest, Philly's Only Vegan Food & Beer Festival, is Returning on August 13

SEED Fest, Philly's Only Vegan Food & Beer Festival, is Returning on August 13

On Sunday, August 13, Philly's only fully vegan food and beer festival, S.E.E.D. (Sustainable Everyday Edibles...read more ›

by Drink Philly Aug 10, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

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

Close