Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Barrel #19 – Racy, powerful nose. On the palate, restraint rules the day, with more raw, wood oil notes ruling the day. Light touches of cinnamon, licorice, and popcorn dance on the finish, none of which is overwhelmingly in balance or intriguing. B- (rye, 105 entry proof, level 6 seasoning, tight grain, wooden ricks, #4 char, top half of tree)
Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project was a project that spanned four years, between May 2011 and Feb 2015. It was part of a research project by Buffalo Trace to analyse the effect different wood grains, recipes, entry proofs, stave seasoning, char number, tree cuts and warehouses have on whiskey as it ages.
A total of 192 barrels were used throughout the initiative, with different editions released every three months in increments of 12 barrels, dumped into 375ml bottles yielding, 400 bottles from each barrel.
The project 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.