Last year, Old Charter launched their oak series with the intention of exploring the differences between bourbons aged in barrels made from oak grown around the world—some of which are hundreds of years old. The first release of the series was a Mongolian Oak. This new release uses oak from France.
“We’re excited to release our second bourbon in this ground breaking series,” states Kris Comstock, the senior marketing director for Old Charter. “As of now, we have bourbon aging for the Old Charter Oak collection scheduled for release now through 2030, but we’ll keep producing more each year for more new whiskeys beyond that.”
Old Charter’s French Oak release uses Buffalo Trace Mashbill #1—the same rye bourbon recipe used in Eagle Rare and E.H. Taylor. The bourbon has been aged in French oak barrels since 2007. According to Old Charter, the bourbon has “a nose of vanilla with hints of apricot, cherry, and rose petal,” while the flavor profile is “thick and creamy maple syrup, with the oak flavor coming through. A long finish of chocolate and toasted oak round it out.” The bourbon is bottled at 92 proof and comes in a glass bottle with an oak medallion on the front and back. The French Oak release has a suggested price of $70.
Even with their commitment to discovering how other oaks from different countries affect the flavor of bourbon, Old Charter is a distillery with close ties to American history. The company was founded in 1874 by Adam and Ben Chapeze. The brothers named the distillery in honor of the Charter Oak tree, which grew in Connecticut and came to be recognized as a symbol of American independence. The Charter Oak tree was rumored to be where the Connecticut Royal Charter of 1662 was hidden when the English governor-general sought to confiscate it. The tree fell in 1856 during a storm.