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:
 
Where to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo 2017 in Baltimore

Where to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo 2017 in Baltimore

The drinking gods are surely smiling on us this year, with first St. Patrick's Day, and now Cinco de Mayo, landing on a Friday. We can’t write your ...read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera Apr 25, 2017
Behind the Bar: Trevor Schneider, US Reyka Vodka Ambassador

Behind the Bar: Trevor Schneider, US Reyka Vodka Ambassador

This installment of Behind the Bar is focused on Trevor Schneider, the US brand ambassador for the Icelandic Reyka Vodka....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Apr 19, 2017
Listen to Great Live Music at These Baltimore Bars

Listen to Great Live Music at These Baltimore Bars

There are plenty of vast venues around the city hosting musicians, but there are a multitude of more modest spots to enjoy the music of local bands wi...read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera Apr 19, 2017
SPONSORED
Visit Drink Baltimore on Your Phone
Drinking Wine is the Best Mental Exercise, According to Science

Drinking Wine is the Best Mental Exercise, According to Science

Can drinking wine actually be beneficial to your health? A professor of neuroscience at Yale may have found an answer....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Apr 12, 2017
This Summer, You Can Drink Your Rose Out Of a Forty

This Summer, You Can Drink Your Rose Out Of a Forty

A company called Forty Ounce Wines is now selling this warm-weather wine in forties, giving drinkers a whole new way to drink 'rose all day.'...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 10, 2017
Follow in Anthony Bourdain's Footsteps with 'Explore Parts Unknown'

Follow in Anthony Bourdain's Footsteps with 'Explore Parts Unknown'

Ever feel inspired by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain's world travels? Wish you could trace his steps and go o...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Apr 10, 2017
Buffalo Trace is Now Aging Bourbon in 300 Year Old Barrels

Buffalo Trace is Now Aging Bourbon in 300 Year Old Barrels

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 contai...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 31, 2017
Southern Tier Releases Girl Scout Cookie Flavored Beer

Southern Tier Releases Girl Scout Cookie Flavored Beer

New York based brewery Southern Tier has announced their latest spring release - 'Thick Mint,' an imperial stout brewed with chocolate and mint. ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Mar 28, 2017
Celebrate Spring at the Decanter Wine & Racing Festival, April 8

Celebrate Spring at the Decanter Wine & Racing Festival, April 8

On Saturday, April 8 from 12 PM - 6 PM, Laurel Park Race Course will play home to the Decanter Wine and Racing Festival, kicking off this year's horse...read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera Mar 28, 2017
Where to Drink Spring Cocktails in Baltimore

Where to Drink Spring Cocktails in Baltimore

While there's been no pronounced wintery weather this season, it's clear we're still all ready for spring. Thankfully, so are the bars....read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera Mar 28, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

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

Close