“Twin Oak” sounds mysterious, but the reality is this is a bit simpler whiskey than the name suggests. The result of a six-year project with the barrel-makers at Independent Stave Company, Twin Oak is the inaugural release of whiskey placed in Jefferson’s CEO Trey Zoeller’s own “Jefferson’s barrel.” Like Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select whiskeys, the secret sauce is the grooved staves used to craft the barrel, making for more surface area and greater wood-to-spirit contact. Barrels are then toasted and charred based on a specific recipe. The “twin” moniker comes into play because these special barrels are only used for four months of finishing. The whiskey starts as 10 year old bourbon, sourced from an unnamed Kentucky distillery.
The results are perfectly delightful for fans of bolder, wood-forward bourbons. The nose is heavy on the char, licorice, and clove notes, herbal and earthy. Bold cereal character hits first on the tongue, a fresh popcorn note that feels younger than 10 years and which comes across as traditional, almost old-timey. Secondary notes are mainly built around baking spice and a hint of butterscotch, notes of clove oil and a reprise of blackened barrel char hanging on for the finish.