Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Bridgeport, TX whiskey producer Oak & Eden is refreshingly upfront about the fact that they use sourced whiskey. Many emerging distilleries, or distributors focused on the finishing process, will bend over backwards not to put the letters M,G,P in sequence. Oak & Eden, however, is willing to lean on the fact that they do not distill their own product, but instead put the distinguishing touches on sourced whiskey using a patented variation of stave finishing.
They place wood staves (spiral cut pieces of aromatic, flavor-imparting wood) in their bottles before releasing them. This is distinct from the aging process, as Oak & Eden explains: “Unlike a barrel, which has interaction with its environment (oxygen, barometric pressure, humidity, etc.), allowing the barrel to “breathe” the whiskey in and out of the wood, our spire is submerged in a closed glass container, eliminating any interaction with a breathable environment. After about 6 weeks inside the bottle, the spire becomes fully saturated and has imparted all the characteristics it can express, at which point it has fulfilled its primary purpose.”
This process is not only a unique method for augmenting flavors in the glass, but is even being put to use to give individual consumers the opportunity to influencetheir own bottle.
Oak & Eden’s recently released 4 Grain & Maple Bourbon consists of a mash bill of 55% corn, 18% rye, 22% wheat, and 5% malted barley and features the contribution of a maple syrup-soaked spire of American oak in the bottle.
We review Oak & Eden 4 Grain & Maple Bourbon, consisting of a mash bill of 55% corn, 18% rye, 22% wheat, and 5% malted barley and featuring a maple syrup-soaked spire of American oak in the bottle. (image via Jacob Wirt/The Whiskey Wash)
Vital Stats: has no age statement, but their website indicates their whiskey is aged a minimum of 3 years. bottled at 90 proof. a suggested retail price of $59.99.
Appearance: Light caramel color, light in the glass.
Nose: Sweet maple aroma with a strongly tannic backbone.
Palate: To nobody’s surprise, there’s a dominant maple note, but not in a gimmicky or cloying kind of way so much as with that real syrup flavor that I can’t ever find a proper word for except ‘green’. The maple flavor folds in well with backing vanilla and tannic flavors with mild cinnamon/baking spice on the finish.
Whiskey Review: Oak & Eden 4 Grain & Maple Bourbon
This does pretty well in the glass on its own, and this is certainly among the better infused whiskeys I’ve had. That said, it is a bit one dimensional to really excel as a standalone sipper. Fire up the maple Old Fashioneds – to me, Oak & Eden’s 4 Grain & Maple is best employed as a cocktail component, not to mask the fact that it is a bit one-note, but specifically because it is so good at playing that note it really ought to be part of a band.
It’s not the first thing I’d reach for at its price point, but fans of maple whiskeys will be pleased. And why shouldn’t they be? This achieves a richness and naturalness of flavor that most infused whiskeys don’t even pretend to.
Jacob Wirt’s past lives as a cook and cultural studies researcher continue to inform his appreciation of fermented grain beverages- not (only) because these professions might drive one to drink, but because they offer a reminder of the knowledge, work, and history that makes every glass possible. His first love...