Buffalo Trace unveils experimental Bourbons

20th May, 2015 by Annie Hayes

Buffalo Trace has released two 10-year-old French oak barrel aged Bourbons as part of the distillery’s exclusive Experimental Collection.


These expressions are part of more than 3,000 experimental barrels of whiskey ageing in the warehouses of Buffalo Trace Distillery

The brand constructed two different barrels; one made of French oak, and another using French oak heads with American white oak staves, to age the expressions, which are named 100% French Oak Barrel Aged Bourbon, and French Oak Barrel Head Aged Bourbon.
The barrel staves were air-dried for six months and the barrels were charred for 55 seconds, before each was filled with Buffalo Trace Rye Bourbon Mash #1 and left to age for 10 years.

“These Bourbons, when tasted side by side, are complementary but yet have subtle differences,” said master distiller Harlen Wheatley.

“Both are nice, well-rounded Bourbons, but the 100% French oak bourbon has more soft, fruity notes to it, while the Bourbon made with the French oak heads and American oak staves offers more of a smoky oak and tannin flavour profile.”

These barrels are part of more than 3,000 experimental barrels of whiskey ageing in the warehouses of Buffalo Trace Distillery, each of which have their own experimental feature – such as unique mash bills, different types of wood, and different barrel toasts.

A micro distillery, named The Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. “OFC” Micro Distillery, has been constructed as a dedicated hub for the experimental barrels.

The centre is kitted out with with cookers, fermenting tanks, and a micro still, enabling the brand to focus on each experimental expression.

Wheatley added: “The French oak experiments offer a unique flavour profile from our standard Bourbon barrels. That’s one of the things that make our experiments so fun; we never stop learning how subtle changes can alter the taste profile.”
Buffalo Trace unveiled Warehouse X in 2013, a small warehouse designed to explore the environmental influences on the flavour profiles of whiskey.

The Experimental Collection is packaged in 375ml bottles, 12 bottles to a case, with six bottles from each barrel in a case.

The whiskies are bottled at 45% abv and are available at an RRP of US$46.35.


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