Spirit Cruises Summer 2019 Leaderboard

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:
 
Old City Festival Returns To Philadelphia's Most Historic Neighborhood on Sunday, October 13

Old City Festival Returns To Philadelphia's Most Historic Neighborhood on Sunday, October 13

Old City Fest will feature food and drink from 30 of the best bars and restaurants in the Old City, many of wh...read more ›

by Drink Philly Oct 5, 2019
Best Bars for Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2019

Best Bars for Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2019

Whether it's to enjoy the first warm breezes of spring or the unexpected sunshine of a crisp day in fall, Philadelphia is full of great places to drin...read more ›

by Drink Philly Apr 11, 2019
SPONSORED
Get Spooked at Haunt, The New Halloween-Themed Pop-Up Bar From the Team Behind Townsend & Oloroso

Get Spooked at Haunt, The New Halloween-Themed Pop-Up Bar From the Team Behind Townsend & Oloroso

Celebrate the Halloween season and get a creepy, creative cocktail at Haunt, the newest month-long Halloween p...read more ›

by Drink Philly Oct 3, 2019
The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

The Best Cocktail Bars in Philadelphia

Here it is - the definitive list of Philadelphia's best cocktail bars....read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 13, 2017
Celebrate National Coming Out Day at Philadelphia's 2019 Outfest, October 13

Celebrate National Coming Out Day at Philadelphia's 2019 Outfest, October 13

Head to Philadelphia's Gayborhood on Sunday, October 13 for Outfest, a massive, multi-block celebration of Nat...read more ›

by Drink Philly Oct 1, 2019
Continue Your Oktoberfest Celebrations at the King of Prussia Beerfest Royale, October 5

Continue Your Oktoberfest Celebrations at the King of Prussia Beerfest Royale, October 5

King of Prussia Beerfest Royale will take place from 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM in the parking lot at the famous King ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Oct 1, 2019
The Team Behind Tinsel & Blume is Bringing a Halloween-Themed Pop-Up Bar to Center City

The Team Behind Tinsel & Blume is Bringing a Halloween-Themed Pop-Up Bar to Center City

The minds between Instagrammable spots like Tinsel and Blume are bringing a Halloween-themed pop-up event to ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Oct 1, 2019
Workhorse Brewing Launches New Taproom in Spread Bagelry at 24th & Walnut

Workhorse Brewing Launches New Taproom in Spread Bagelry at 24th & Walnut

Workhorse Brewing has launched its first Philadelphia location in collaboration with Spread Bagelry, combining...read more ›

by Drink Philly Oct 1, 2019
Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Whether it's for the holidays or you have a special birthday coming up, Philadelphia has some amazing options when it comes to event spaces. ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 26, 2018
SPONSORED
View all Articles

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

Close