All of the bourbons that comprise this release entered the barrel at 105 proof, aged within the wooden ricks of Warehouse K, with a number 4 barrel char after the staves were seasoned for 12 months. This allows the release to focus on three other variables, the recipe, wood grain size, and tree cut. All of the other variables such as aging warehouse, entry proof, char level, and stave seasoning remain constant.
“Many people will find this release interesting since the entry proof is 105 this round – which some fans contend is better. Bourbon drinkers can taste and decide if they like wheated or rye recipe bourbon better at the 105 entry proof.” said Kris Comstock, bourbon marketing director.
So far, more than 2,221 industry expert and consumer reviews have been logged online at http://www.singleoakproject.com. These whiskey reviews will determine which Single Oak Project Bourbon is the favorite of fans worldwide. Buffalo Trace looks forward to more reviews, to hear what bourbon drinkers think, and will craft the perfect bourbon based on consumer feedback.
Now halfway through the project, barrel number 106 has fought its way back to the top, after being knocked off a few months ago by barrel number 97! “Barrels number 97 and 106 have been vying for the number one spot for several months now,” continues Comstock. “But with two more years to go, any of these bourbons still stand a chance to be declared the winner. And it’s not too late to get involved even if you’re new to the project!”
After a consumer reviews a bottle online, they will be availed of all the aging details and provenance of the barrel. They can interact with others who’ve also reviewed the barrel, compare their reviews, and even learn for themselves which characteristics they enjoy most, in order to help them select future favorites. Participants online will earn points after each review and most importantly, actively participate in Buffalo Trace Distillery’s quest to create the perfect bourbon!
The Single Oak Project is part of an intensive research project Buffalo Trace Distillery started conducting in 1999 by hand picking 96 trees with different wood grains and then dividing them into a top and bottom piece, yielding 192 unique sections. From there, staves were created from each section and were air dried for either 6 months or 12 months. After all the staves were air dried, a single barrel was created from each tree section, resulting in 192 total barrels. These barrels were given either a number three or a number four char and then filled with either wheat or rye recipe bourbon.
To further the variety of experiments, the barrels were filled at two different proofs, 105 and 125 proof. And if this wasn’t enough, two completely different warehouses were used, one with wooden floors and one with concrete floors. In total, seven different variables were employed in Buffalo Trace’s ultimate experiment.
For eight years the Distillery continued with its tracking process, creating intricate databases and coming up with a potential of 1,396 tasting combinations from these 192 barrels!
The Single Oak Project Bourbon is being released in a series every three months from 2011 through 2015 until all of the 192 barrels have been released. The first release hit select stores in 2011. This eighth release will reach stores towards the end of February. Like all the other releases, the quantities are very limited. Every case will contain 12 bottles, each from a different barrel. The eighth release is made up of barrel numbers 27, 28, 59, 60, 91, 92, 123, 124, 155, 156, 187, and 188. All releases will be packaged in a 375ml bottle. Suggested retail pricing per bottle is $46.35.
At the conclusion of the Single Oak Project, the Distillery plans to take the top rated Single Oak Project Bourbon and make more just like it, under the Single Oak name.
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