Review: 2XO The Tribute Blend and Oak Series – American Oak

Review: 2XO The Tribute Blend and Oak Series – American Oak

Dixon Dedman’s 2XO juggernaut continues with the launch of a third limited edition whiskey in the Icon series — The Tribute Blend — and his first “everyday drinker,” the first 2XO to be a permanent offering. This new Oak Series will include a series of whiskeys at a lower price point and which undergo “an innovative double oak technique where Dixon introduces additional charred oak to barrels with a moderate amount of rye in the mashbill.” The first of these will be “American Oak,” with presumably more far-afield Oaks to come.

“With American Oak, I am getting the opportunity to develop my first everyday expression,” says Dixon. “It will always be available and always in inventory. I am especially excited to share this 2XO liquid with bartenders and mixologists who can work American Oak into their bar programs.”

We got both of the above whiskeys, and as you may expect, we drank them both. Here we go:

2XO The Tribute Blend – The Tribute Blend is a blend of two Kentucky straight bourbons from two different distillers – one a high rye 35% bourbon mashbill and the other a low rye 16-18% bourbon mashbill, re-barreled into new, charred oak barrels in what defines the 2XO (“two times oak”) style. Engaging right away, with a blend of vanilla, caramel, and tobacco on the nose, generating a sweet-and-slightly-smoky quality throughout. The palate is rich and enveloping, silky with notes of cracked corn, buttery toffee, spicy rye bread, and a big slug of milk chocolate. The mint notes emerge as the finish builds, pairing well with a surprising touch of rosemary and basil — all tempered by lush brown butter. Immediately gorgeous and hard to put down, I consumed much more of my sample than I ever anticipated. Another home run from Dedman. 104 proof. A / $100 [BUY IT NOW FROM RESERVEBAR]

2XO Oak Series – American Oak – We explained what we know about American Oak above — but in a nutshell Dedman’s putting American oak staves or chips into mature medium-rye bourbon to give it a little extra oomph. This is a big come-down from The Tribute Blend, though it’s a whiskey with plenty of, indeed, everyday charm. Corny in a way that other 2XO whiskeys aren’t, American Oak evokes both youth and tradition, with a fairly traditional caramel corn character, ample char, and some toasted nut notes prominent on the nose. Few diversions arrive on the palate, which sees a light almond character, classic vanilla, and some roasted brassica notes that add a charry savoriness. (Savory charriness?) Fruit pops up on the back end as notes of cherries, spiced with cloves and cinnamon, come into focus. The finish feels surprisingly sweet. I’d mix with it. 92 proof. B+ / $50 [BUY IT NOW FROM RESERVEBAR]

2XO The Tribute Blend




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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