Double-oaked bourbon is a type of whiskey aged in two different oak barrels, each of which imparts its unique flavors and characteristics to the final product. Twice barreled bourbon creates a rich, complex flavor profile that is highly sought after by bourbon aficionados. The typical tasting profile of a double oaked bourbon is characterized by rich and complex flavors, with notes of dark caramel, dark chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, dark fruit, toasty oak, and smoky notes.
The process of making the best double oaked bourbon begins with the production of regular bourbon. To qualify as bourbon, it must be made from at least 51% corn and aged in new, charred oak barrels. The remainder of the mash bill (the mixture of grains used to make the whiskey) can be made up of any combination of grains, including barley, rye, and wheat.
Second Round in New Charred Oak Barrels
After the bourbon has been aged in the first barrel for the required time (usually at least four years). The bourbon is then transferred to a second barrel; this second freshly charred oak barrel for additional aging. This double barrel is often smaller new charred oak barrel than the first, allowing more contact between the bourbon and the oak charred barrels. This extra aging imparts other flavors and characteristics to the final product, resulting in a deeper, more complex flavor profile and sweet oak character.
Some of the best double-oaked bourbon is known for its rich, full-bodied flavor with oak, vanilla, and caramel notes. It has a long, smooth finish and is often enjoyed neat or on the rocks. Some people enjoy using it as a mixer in cocktails, such as the classic Old Fashioned.
Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is an excellent entry-level bourbon. It's approachable and easy to drink, but Woodford Reserve Double Oaked also has plenty of complexities that are fun to explore over time. This one has lots of fruits and spices, with a bit of honey sweetness at the end. With it's rich and colorful flavor, this Woodford Reserve Double Oaked an excellent place to start if you want an introduction to double-oaked bourbons.
Old Forester 1910 is another excellent choice for beginners because it offers more complexity than other brands at this price point. This whiskey has notes of caramelized sugarcane on the nose and delivers a full-bodied sweet flavor. Then it finishes with enough spice kick on the back end for balance. In short, it tastes like what your grandmother would make if you asked her for some homemade sherry raisin ice cream! But wait—there's more! The bottle has its own flask inside (if only we could all be lucky).
Let's take a look at some of our favorite double oaked bourbon offerings!
Savoring the Richness of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is a remarkable representation of refined craftsmanship in the world of double-oaked bourbon, unveiling a symphony of flavors and aromas, making it an esteemed choice among bourbon aficionados. This bourbon undergoes meticulous aging in two distinguished oak barrels for no less than six years, ensuring the infusion of intricate flavors and the creation of a sophisticated palate. The initial barrel is attentively charred, opening the gates to a world of flavors, and lays the foundation for the unique, rich taste profile that distinguishes Woodford Reserve Double Oaked.
The second barrel, toasted to perfection, is the canvas upon which the complex notes of vanilla, caramel, and honey are painted, blending harmoniously to create a rich, full-bodied flavor profile. The toasted barrel not only intensifies the existing flavors but also contributes sweet oak character and warmth, adding layers to the bourbon’s character. This dual interaction with charred and toasted oak barrels renders Woodford Reserve Double Oaked a bourbon of superior quality, a luxurious drink that stands tall with its rich, colorful flavor, displaying the essence of true bourbon craftsmanship.
Savoring Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is akin to embarking on a journey through the intricate landscapes of bourbon flavors, each sip revealing the delicate balance between sweetness and the robust essence of oak. This bourbon is not merely a drink but an exploration, an experience for those who seek to dive deep into the essence of double-oaked bourbons. With its unique composition and careful aging process, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is a testament to the art of bourbon creation, a delectable choice for anyone looking to explore the sophisticated complexities and rich, multifaceted notes inherent to double-oaked bourbons.
Old Forester 1910
In the late 1990s, the company introduced one of the first double oaked bourbons on the market with the release of Old Forester 1910. This expression is aged in two charred oak barrels, which imparts a unique flavor profile to the whiskey. The first barrel, made of #3 char American oak, contributes caramel and vanilla flavors. The second charred oak barrel, made of #4 char American oak, imparts toasty and smoky notes to the whiskey.
The double oaking process used for Old Forester 1910 Very Old Fine Whisky sets it apart from other bourbons on the market and has helped it establish a reputation as a premium whiskey. Today, Old Forester 1910 is widely considered one of the best double oaked bourbons on the market, and is enjoyed by whiskey enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike. The combination of quality ingredients and innovative aging techniques has helped Old Forester establish a lasting legacy as one of the premier whiskey producers in the United States.
A Treasure Hunt for Michter's Limited Release US1 Bourbon
Michter's Limited Release US1 is a gem in the bourbon world, its scarcity making it a highly prized find for connoisseurs. It isn’t as readily available as Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, but those who embark on the quest to find it are rewarded with a bourbon experience that is nothing short of extraordinary. This bourbon is an exquisite blend of 20-year-old Kentucky straight bourbons, each contributing its unique character to create a rich symphony of flavors. Its intricate composition is further enhanced by finishing in new American oak barrels, a process that imbues the bourbon with additional layers of flavor and complexity.
The extensive aging and the interaction with new American oak barrels render a flavor profile that is rich and multidimensional, showcasing refined notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak. These flavors interweave to produce a bourbon that is sophisticated and well-balanced, with each sip revealing the meticulous craftsmanship and passion that have gone into its creation. The nuanced interaction between the aged bourbons and the new oak barrels results in a bourbon that is a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation, offering a drinking experience that is both comforting and exhilarating.
For those who value depth and complexity in their bourbon, Michter's Limited Release US1 stands as a beacon, illustrating the pinnacle of bourbon craftsmanship. Its multifaceted character and the harmony of flavors make it a must-try for every bourbon enthusiast. Whether you’re a seasoned bourbon aficionado or a curious explorer in the world of spirits, the allure of Michter's Limited Release US1’s rich and intricate profile is bound to captivate your palate, inviting you to delve deeper into the vast and flavorful realm of double-oaked bourbons.
Discovering the Complexity of Garrison Brothers Balmorhea
Garrison Brothers Balmorhea stands as a testament to meticulous craftsmanship and the rich, full-bodied flavors that double-oaked bourbons can exhibit. Created by Garrison Brothers Distillery in Hye, TX, Balmorhea is a Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey that has been meticulously aged in oak barrels for six years. The aging process imparts a smooth, sweet flavor profile, with prominent hints of vanilla and caramel, making it a wonderful representation of high-quality double-oaked bourbon. The intricate balance of flavors in Balmorhea offers a complex tasting experience, inviting bourbon aficionados to explore the depth and subtleties of its character.
While Balmorhea does have a complex flavor structure, making it a favorite among those who prefer intricate bourbons, it generally maintains availability in most stores, allowing enthusiasts to experience its richness without excessive hunting. However, the advanced process and superior quality do place it at a higher price point compared to other options. But for those who value intricate flavors and a well-rounded bourbon experience, the investment in Balmorhea is well worth it. It provides a refined journey through the multifaceted world of double-oaked bourbons, showcasing the possibilities within this specialized bourbon category.
As a superb example of what double-oaked bourbons can offer, Garrison Brothers Balmorhea is not just a drink but an experience. Each sip reveals layers of flavors, each more enchanting than the last, creating a symphony of taste that resonates with bourbon lovers. Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as part of a sophisticated cocktail, Balmorhea invites you to savor the rich tapestry of flavors that double-oaked bourbons can weave, encouraging a deeper appreciation for the artistry involved in crafting such exquisite spirits.
Savoring the Richness of Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel
Elijah Craig Toasted stands out among other bourbons due to its intricate double-oaking process and the distinctive flavor palette it offers. This luxurious bourbon is initially aged in new charred oak barrels for six years, allowing it to absorb the rich, multifaceted flavors from the wood. Post this initial aging process, it undergoes an additional year in barrel deeply toasted for additional flavor. This meticulous method of aging, incorporating both charred and toasted barrels, imparts a rich, smoky caramel flavor to the bourbon, elevating its flavor profile to exquisite levels. The nuanced toasting process accentuates notes of toffee and butterscotch, making it a favorite for those who relish these flavors.
Elijah Craig Toasted is not just a bourbon; it’s a symphony of carefully crafted flavors, providing an immersive experience for the senses. Every sip brings forward the harmonious blend of smoky, sweet, and rich notes, offering a unique tasting journey that appeals to both seasoned bourbon aficionados and those new to the world of double-oaked bourbons. It represents the harmony between traditional bourbon-making techniques and innovative aging processes, creating a dynamic interplay of flavors that resonate with every sip.
For those who seek a sophisticated and layered bourbon experience, Elijah Craig Toasted is a perfect choice. It invites you to explore the richness of double-oaked bourbons, and its harmonious blend of flavors offers a delightful exploration into the craftsmanship of bourbon making. Whether you prefer to savor it neat, with a splash of water, or as the base of a flavorful cocktail, Elijah Craig Toasted promises a rich and memorable bourbon experience, echoing the depth and complexity that double-oaked bourbons can achieve.
Kentucky Peerless Double Oak Bourbon: A New Revelation in Flavor
Kentucky Peerless Double Oak is a modern marvel in the bourbon world, having quickly ascended the ranks to become one of the most sought-after double oaked bourbons available today, despite its relative novelty. This bourbon begins its journey by aging for four years in new American oak barrels, a process allowing it to gain robust and rich flavors. Post this primary aging, it experiences a finishing touch of an additional six months in toasted American oak barrels. This meticulous double-oaking procedure imbues the bourbon with a multifaceted flavor palette, intertwining notes of vanilla, caramel, oak, and spice, and creating a harmonious blend of richness and complexity.
This bourbon represents a symphonic interplay of flavors, each note complementing the other, resulting in a rich, layered experience that makes it a favorite among bourbon enthusiasts. The secondary aging process in toasted barrels enhances its overall flavor structure, deepening the notes and adding a subtle, smoky nuance to its profile. The combination of fresh and toasted oak barrels brings forward a delightful balance of sweetness and spiciness, allowing each sip to be a new exploration of flavors and sensations.
Kentucky Peerless Double Oak is a testament to the innovation and craftsmanship in the bourbon industry, showing how new methods and ideas can lead to the creation of outstanding and popular products. It's a bourbon that invites aficionados to explore the modern evolutions in bourbon making while savoring the traditional flavors they love. Whether you prefer enjoying it on the rocks or experimenting with it in various cocktails, Kentucky Peerless Double Oak offers a sophisticated and enriching bourbon experience, sure to delight those who appreciate the intricate dance of flavors found in double oaked bourbons.
Heaven's Door Double Barreled
Heaven's Door Double Barreled is the bourbon you should drink if you want to try something different. It's a limited edition release that has been aged in new and used oak barrels for 10 years, resulting in a sweet bourbon with notes of vanilla, caramel, sharp honey and oak.
This unique combination of flavors makes this bourbon stand out from the crowd. The taste can be described as creamy, with hints of charred oak lingering on your tongue after each sip—perfect for sipping on its own or making cocktails!
Knob Creek Twice-Barreled Rye
Knob Creek's Double Oaked Rye is a limited edition whiskey from the Jim Beam Distillery, and it's one of the most unique bourbons you'll ever taste. The first thing that catches your eye about this rye is its color—it looks like it has been aged in red wine barrels instead of standard charred white oak barrels.
When you take your first sip, you immediately notice the familiar flavors of vanilla and caramel from toasted wood. But then comes a pleasant surprise: A spicy kick! This whiskey has been aged in two types of casks—first-use charred white oak barrels that have been toasted to enhance these flavors and second-use bourbon barrels that add spice notes. It's definitely an experience worth trying at least once in your life.
Sagamore Spirit Double Oak Rye
Sagamore Spirit Double Oak Rye is a double-oaked rye whiskey aged in both new and lightly toasted oak barrels. It's aged for an entire decade before being bottled, giving it a complex flavor profile with notes of vanilla, honey, and caramel corn. This bourbon goes great with the classic Manhattan cocktail. Still, you can also try it as the base of your favorite whiskey sour or even neat while watching your favorite sport on TV.
Conclusion about Double Oaked Bourbons
Double-oaked bourbons are a great way to add complexity to any whiskey drink. While each of these whiskeys has its unique flavor profile, they all have one thing in common: they're worth trying! You can find these delicious bottles at your local liquor store or bar, so go ahead and pick up a bottle today!
As you can see, there is a lot more to the world of bourbon than meets the eye. Not only are there many different types, but each one has its own unique flavor and character. The best way to experience all that bourbon offers is by spending some time at your local liquor store or bar. You don't have to be an expert. Bourbon enthusiasts come in all shapes and sizes, but knowing just a little bit will help you navigate these choices confidently!
FAQ About Double Oaked Bourbons
Which bourbons are double oaked?
Double oaked bourbons include Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, OF 1910, Garrison Brothers Balmorhea, Elijah Craig Toasted, Heaven's Door Double Barrel, Knob Creek Twice-Barreled Rye, Sagamore Spirit Double Oak Rye, Michter's Limited Release US1, and Kentucky Peerless Double Oak.
Is Woodford Reserve or double oaked better?
It depends on individual preference. Woodford Reserve Double Oaked offers rich flavors with notes of vanilla, caramel, and honey, due to being aged in two different barrels, making it a favorite among many. However, "better" is subjective, and preferences will vary based on individual taste profiles and what one is looking for in a bourbon.
What is the smoothest bourbon to sip for bourbon and rye drinkers?
Smoothness is subjective, but many consider bourbons like Garrison Brothers Balmorhea and Elijah Craig Toasted to be smooth due to their balanced and rich flavor profiles, achieved through meticulous aging processes in specific oak barrels.
How do you drink double oaked bourbon?
Double oaked bourbon can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, such as neat, on the rocks, or as the base in a variety of cocktails. The choice depends on personal preference and the specific flavor profile of the bourbon chosen.
What is similar to Woodford Reserve Double Oaked?
Bourbons like the 1910 from Old Forester and Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel have similar double aging processes and share flavor notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak, making them comparable to Woodford Reserve Double Oaked.
What does double aged bourbon mean?
Double aged or double oaked bourbon means that the bourbon undergoes a secondary aging process in a second set of oak barrels, imparting additional flavors and complexities to the spirit. This process typically enhances the richness and depth of the bourbon's flavor profile.
Who makes double oaked bourbons?
As mentioned, bourbons such as Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, 1910 from Old Forester, and Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel, among others, undergo a double oaking process to enhance and diversify their flavor profiles.