Review: Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Bourbon Round Two

I won’t try to explain it again: If you missed the explanation of Buffalo Trace’s Single Oak Project the first time, you can catch up on this ambitious program spanning 192 single barrel Bourbons here. In round one, Buffalo Trace offered a dozen unique single barrel recipes for customers to consider. Now it’s back with its second collection, 12 more bottles of varying construct — and, surprisingly, I found I liked this round, on the whole, better than the first.

Each whiskey is 90 proof again — and you can visit singleoakproject.com to offer up your own thoughts and compare notes with your compatriots.

For this round, all whiskies were stored in the same type of warehouse (concrete), their barrels were from the top half of the tree, seasoning was the same (12), and entry proof was identical (105 proof). What varied: rye vs. wheat recipe, wood grain size on the barrel (tight/average/coarse), barrel char (#3 vs. #4), and tree harvest location (two different sites: A and B, though I don’t have specifics on how the sites varied).

Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Barrel #29 – Big, “old Bourbon” character. Good balance of wood and spice notes, and a touch of citrus on the finish. A- (rye, 105 entry proof, level 12 seasoning, tight grain, concrete ricks, #3 char, top half of tree, harvest location A)

Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Barrel #31 – Slightly more tannin here, but the finish is a bit sweeter, too. Less nuance, but really easy-drinking. For sure it’s another winner. A- (rye, 105 entry proof, level 12 seasoning, tight grain, concrete ricks, #4 char, top half of tree, harvest location A)

Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Barrel #61 – Harder edged, with more citrus character — maybe a touch of orange peel. Tougher on the finish, but still a credible Bourbon. B (wheat, 105 entry proof, level 12 seasoning, tight grain, concrete ricks, #3 char, top half of tree, harvest location A)

Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Barrel #63 – Big and spicy, and frontier style whiskey at heart. Vanilla is the dominant character, which rounds out the finish. B+ (wheat, 105 entry proof, level 12 seasoning, tight grain, concrete ricks, #4 char, top half of tree, harvest location A)

Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Barrel #93 – Hard and tough, spicy and herbal, with a rocky finish. The finale is lasting and grows more and more tannic as it goes on. Out of balance. B- (rye, 105 entry proof, level 12 seasoning, average grain, concrete ricks, #3 char, top half of tree, harvest location A)

Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Barrel #95 – Similarly burly to #93, but slightly softer. Unlike its kid sister, it eases up on the finish, leaving you with sweetness instead of throat-choking tannin — amazing what a slightly longer char can do. B+ (rye, 105 entry proof, level 12 seasoning, average grain, concrete ricks, #4 char, top half of tree, harvest location A)

Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Barrel #125 – Another huge whiskey, and one a bit lacking in secondary character. Although I know it’s got the same age on it as the rest, it feels young and a little undercooked. B (wheat, 105 entry proof, level 12 seasoning, average grain, concrete ricks, #3 char, top half of tree, harvest location B)

Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Barrel #127 - Unsurprising, a straightforward Bourbon with a straightforward caramel character. Short finish. B (wheat, 105 entry proof, level 12 seasoning, average grain, concrete ricks, #4 char, top half of tree, harvest location B)

Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Barrel #157 – Not much to it, just a moderate whiskey with a medium body, mild finish. Caramel and wood notes, but mild. B (rye, 105 entry proof, level 12 seasoning, coarse grain, concrete ricks, #3 char, top half of tree, harvest location B)

Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Barrel #159 – Finally, a Bourbon that gets me going. Savory and sweet working together, with caramel and vanilla very strong, but balanced by a modest woodiness. Just about everything I want in a glass from a young whiskey. A (rye, 105 entry proof, level 12 seasoning, coarse grain, concrete ricks, #4 char, top half of tree, harvest location B)

Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Barrel #189 – Spicier, with fun caramel apple, banana, and character. I like this a lot. The finish makes me think of a nut-infused banana split. A (wheat, 105 entry proof, level 12 seasoning, coarse grain, concrete ricks, #3 char, top half of tree, harvest location B)

Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Barrel #191 – Very similar to 189, maybe a touch harder on the finish. Lovely, though. A- (wheat, 105 entry proof, level 12 seasoning, coarse grain, concrete ricks, #4 char, top half of tree, harvest location B)

$46 each (375ml bottle) / singleoakproject.com

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6 Responses to Review: Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Bourbon Round Two

  1. Pingback: Review: Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Bourbon Round Four | Drinkhacker.com

  2. Pingback: Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project – Round 2 - Scotch & Ice Cream

  3. Pingback: Review: Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Bourbon Round Three | Drinkhacker.com

  4. Pingback: Review: Buffalo Trace Distillery Single Oak Project Bourbon Round Six | Drinkhacker.com

  5. I have a #1 can’t find info, you have any?

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