The Single Oak Project is the most extensive bourbon experiment ever undertaken.
For over two centuries Buffalo Trace Distillery has been a pioneering leader in quality and innovation. The Single Oak Project is our most inventive and comprehensive experiment yet.
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.
The Single Oak Project bourbon aged in barrel #80 was rye recipe bourbon, entered into a barrel made from oak harvested from the bottom half of the tree with staves seasoned for 12 months. The grain size of the wood was considered average and the barrel received a number four char inside. The whiskey entered the barrel at 125 proof and was aged in a concrete floor warehouse.
We are now making plans to start producing the winning formula from Barrel #80, for future batches of Single Oak Bourbon. The oak must be harvested, staves dried for 12 months, and then the bourbon must be aged for eight years. Mark your calendars for the year 2025!
"The knowledge gained from conducting this research experiment is priceless," stated Mark Brown, president and chief executive officer of Buffalo Trace Distillery. "We can now compare and confirm how each of these variables in the bourbon making process affects the finished product, which will only refine our experimental program and help us create even better whiskeys in the future."
Many thanks to all the whiskey enthusiasts who have participated. Although the winner has been determined, please continue evaluating these whiskeys. After each review, you will see all the “DNA” of each particular bourbon and gain a better understanding of your taste preferences. You can read more about the Single Oak Project results here."This year they concluded their extraordinary experiment, by far the most important commercially undertaken in whisk(e)y history…. Picking out the differences was almost certainly the most fascinating project of a career covering a quarter of a century."