Buffalo trace has been conducting extreme whiskey geekery experiments, on a massive scale, where they take different kind of trees, different location in the tree (upper, lower) and then make it into specially constructed casks, fill it with a few different types of whiskey distilled from several mashes, and then varying the location of the casks in the warehouse etc. All this to see how those variables (tree, location, warehouse location, mash bill) affect the end product, then they sell all those experimental whiskies for whisky lovers and geeks to try. That is an amazing project, my friends. more information from the BT site:
For over two centuries Buffalo Trace Distillery has been a pioneering leader in quality and innovation. The Single Oak Project is its most inventive and comprehensive experiment yet. It all started with 96 individually selected American oak trees that differed according to the number of growth rings per inch and growing location. Each tree was then cut into two parts – top and bottom – yielding 192 unique tree sections. A single barrel was constructed from each section. Prior to construction, the stave seasoning was varied. The 192 barrels were then charred differently. These single oak barrels were then filled with different recipe whiskeys, at various entry proofs and aged in a variety of different warehouse styles. This experiment allows whiskey connoisseurs to directly compare the impact of seven different critical variables across 192 bottles for a total of 1,396 taste combinations. None of the 192 bottles in the complete set are exactly alike. The Single Oak Project is undoubtedly the most extensive bourbon experiment ever undertaken.
I was fortunate enough to get a wee sample of Barrel #89 from (guess who, yes Shai again – you know you rock right?). This barrel’s characteristics are as follows: rye, 105 entry proof, level 12 seasoning, average grain, wooden ricks, #3 char, top half of tree. If you’re geeky enough you can make out what that means, hope on to the BT site and read some more.
Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project Barrel #89
nose: Quite interesting as it starts with notes of apple pie, cinnamon and lovely Oak. A bit sharp with spicy notes , sort of Rye-ish.
Palate: the palate is much sharper with peppermint, oak, hot cinnamon ,vanilla, gets sweeter as it lingers on the palate with more creamy notes: butterscotch, chocolate, and mint.
Finish: Minty with sweet vanilla and fudge.
A lovely dram. a bit on the peppery side, with the lovely apples on the nose. Not sure how this differs from the other experiments since I’ve not had any, but truly a nice dram. very enjoyable.