To qualify as a real bourbon whiskey, American federal law mandates that the spirit meet three important criteria: it should originate in the US, be composed of at least 51% corn, and be distilled to a maximum of 160 prof.
Buffalo Trace Distillery has gone ahead and pushed the bourbon boundary a bit further with their Old Charter Oak.
The character and personality of the amber-coloured drink is usually derived from the oak barrel in which it is aged. Regular bourbon whiskey uses the standard American oak.
Buffalo Trace Distillery has instead adopted the Canadian oak to give their new drink a stronger, huskier, and yet smoother, finish.
It is widely accepted by brewing experts that Canadian oak, compared to its American cousin, has a better structure that locks in the flavours as the bourbon ages. According to the brand’s Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley, “The tighter grain allows the whiskey to penetrate more layers in the wood, but it does take it longer to do it. So the longer the bourbon ages, the more flavour can be extracted.”
With the Old Charter Oak, Buffalo Trace Distillery may just have a game changer on its hands, one that is sure to appeal to connoisseurs and regular consumers alike.