About a month ago, the Buffalo Trace Distillery issued its ninth release of what they call the Single Oak Project. The short version is that it's bourbon aged in barrels each of which is made from a single tree. The long version is available on the Project's website. Basically, experts from the distillery teamed with their oak tree farmers and their coopers (the folks who mill the wood and make the staves and barrels) and go romping through a Missouri Ozark forest in search of a few exemplary trees. Then they cooper the barrels, tracking all the crucial info along the way. Each selected tree is cut in half, and each half made into barrels using only the wood from that portion of that tree. Variations are recorded, like porousness of the wood grain, the length of seasoning time for the staves, the char level of the inside of the barrel, and so on. What results is wild variation in flavor—you'd be surprised what a difference these variables can make. Each bottle is labeled with the barrel number so you can record and upload your own thoughts and share with others. It's a social world out there.
Get a bottle, share with friends. Yours might be the world's greatest Bourbon.