Old Charter Oak French Oak is the latest release from Buffalo Trace Distillery as it continues to feature different oak tree varietals through this revived whiskey brand.
Old Charter Oak explores the diverse profiles of barrels obtained from trees grown in different countries, climates and soil.
For the latest release, Buffalo Trace revisits its French Oak series, with a new expression available in late November. In 2013, Buffalo Trace obtained a small number of barrels from France, and filled them with its Mash #1. This is the same mashbill used to make Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare and other bourbons from the popular distillery.
“We first experimented with French Oak barrels in 1995,” says Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley. “We released our first experiment with French Oak in 2006, and we were so pleased with the results we bought more barrels from France and put more bourbon up to age. Over time, this has become one of our favorite bourbons, and it’s always a treat when we’ve got some that are ready to bottle.”
“It’s power packed with sweetness, sourced from the vanilla, caramel and wood sugars while balanced with the French Oak tannins,” he adds. “With the French Oak barrels, we are exploring how the flavors are delivered at different levels. It speaks to the regionality of wood and how it can impact the flavor of the bourbon whiskey.”
Suggested retail price for this French Oak is $69.99 per 750-ml. bottle. It’s 92 proof.
Like previous releases in the Old Charter Oak series, supplies are limited.
This is the third release of Old Charter Oak French Oak, and the sixth release overall for the Old Charter Oak brand. Past releases include Mongolian Oak, Canadian Oak, and Chinkapin Oak. Old Charter Oak Bourbon will roll out many different oak expressions in the future, the company says, with its next release planned for 2022.
Subsequent releases are planned each year.
By Federal standards, bourbon must age in a new, charred oak container. But there is no specification whether it must be American white oak — it’s just that nearly all bourbons made today age in American white oak
Old Charter is a brand that dates back to 1874. That’s when Adam and Ben Chapeze created the bourbon, naming it in honor of the Charter Oak tree, a symbol of American independence and free spirit, which grew in Connecticut in the 12th or 13th century until it fell in a storm in 1856. Buffalo Trace revived the brand in 2018.