Last Christmas, I received an interesting gift from my mother – three unique bottles from the Buffalo Trace ‘Single Oak Project.’ I was intrigued immediately, and the explanation she had printed off to go along with the beautifully wrapped gift explained just how unique this was:
“…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 unique section. Prior to construction we varied the stave seasoning times. 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.
We believe that this experiment will allow you to directly compare the impact of 7 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….” (from the Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project website)
After several months of admiring the bottles and project, we finally decided to take one out for a test spin!
So what did we find?
My take: The nose said this one was going to have some flavor. The sweet smells of toffee, caramel and maple syrup meshed with the tangier notes of baking spices, nutmeg, and a slight smell of oak.
The taste was dry and thick, certainly a mouth-coater. It tasted full bodied, and the taste agreed. Again, sweet tastes of honey, caramel and toffee mixed with the nutmeg and oak, and I dare say there was a peak of mint in there as well!
With a long, lingering but smooth finish, this was a good glass of whiskey. So why not a higher rating? While flavorful, there was nothing truly outstanding about this glass, no real standout characteristic. I’m very enthusiastic about trying the others though!
Dan scale (1-10): 7.7