Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Oak & Eden. 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 towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Not every brand covets the distillery version of farm to table. There are always going to be companies that prefer to put their own spin on a fully aged whiskey sourced from another company. It is a great way for young companies to keep the lights on while they perfect their own distilling and aging process. It is also a way for companies to hit the ground running while building a name for themselves.
Oak and Eden takes a finished product and tweaks it using a rapid aging technique to deliver their own spin on the drinking experience. Their process incorporates wood directly into the bottle in the form of a “spire,” which is an oak spiral that is cured and treated with a variety of flavors. This particular product, Oak & Eden Coffee Steeped Oak Bourbon & Brew, is a bourbon infused with a cold brew coffee-steeped spire.
Wood is instrumental in the process of most whiskey. The traditional barrel aging process has been the accepted standard when it comes to imparting the depth of flavor and color associated with age. But there are many companies these days on the lookout for shortcuts to the aging process. What sets Oak & Eden apart is that they infuse their whiskeys while in the bottle by dropping in the spire until their desired flavor profile emerges. Other examples of similar methods are employed by Bespoke Spirits. The home tinkerer can even find products such as Time and Oak Elements to enhance any lower shelf whiskey looking to elevate it from mixer to sipper.
Tasting Notes: Oak & Eden Coffee Steeped Oak Bourbon & Brew
Vital Stats: 90 Proof, finished with a coffee-soaked French Oak spiral in the bottle.
Appearance: A reddish hue with a bit of ruby in the coloring, reminiscent of a garnet. The texture is pretty thin, with minimal viscosity against the side of the glass.
Nose: Sweet caramel and vanilla are up front on the first wafts. There is a hint of light roast coffee as well, but it is overshadowed by the scent of flat cola.
Palate: Good heat on the front that coats on the way down. It continues to prickle the tongue and lips as you drink. Drinking it neat I noticed a sweet medicinal note, almost like cotton candy made with cough syrup. I had to really search for coffee notes, so I’m not sure the oak stave had much effect outside of artificial aging and adding some color. Over ice it loses its character and heat and comes off as bland.
My experience with this whiskey was underwhelming. It could perhaps appeal to the home mixologists looking for some heat and hint of bitterness to add to their concoctions. It also carries some conversation when the subject of aging comes up with your drinking friends. The question still stands as to whether abbreviated aging methods are the wave of the future, or just a passing fancy for companies looking to capitalize on abbreviated aging to speed up production.
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As the creator and writer of “Johnny Scotch”, John Dover has built his Jazz Noir world from the music he is immersed in on a daily basis and from his travels across the US as a professional musician. John continues to build the “Johnny Scotch” library through short stories, and...