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10 Best Double Oaked Bourbon Brands Ranked (2024 Updated)

Best Double Oaked Bourbon

Last Updated on March 1, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Exceptional best double oaked bourbon call for a premium over your usual pour, but if you want to enjoy more oak, they’re well worth the price. 

Double-oaked expressions, or double-barreled for some, let rye and bourbon drinkers experience more of what they enjoy– delivering bold woody notes with a balance of flavors.

If you’re interested in exploring these expressions, here are the best double-oaked bourbons that will turn your drinking moment into an extraordinary experience.

Top 10 Double-Oaked Bourbons (Must-Sip) 

10. Old Forester 1910 Very Fine Whisky

Old Forester 1910 Old Fine Whisky Bottle and a Glass

Average Price: around $54.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 46.5% ABV 

Why We Like It: Old Forester 1910 is a part of the brand’s Whiskey Row series, produced at the Brown-Forman facility in Kentucky. 

Unlike the standard barrels, taking around 22 seconds to fire, this Very Fine Whisky takes 50 seconds.

It’s charred to the point where it can barely hold liquor, then aged in the barrels for at least six months. 

9. Michter’s Toasted Barrel Bourbon

Michter's Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon Bottle with other Michter's Liquor on the Background

Average Price: around $55/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 47.5% ABV 

Why We Like It: The first release of Michter’s Toasted Barrel Bourbon was three years in the making.

While this bourbon is first aged in white oak barrels, the finishing involves lightly toasted barrels. 

Charred barrels bring out the burnt sugar and oak flavors, while the second one adds a bit of spice to this impressive spirit.

8. Ragged Branch Double Oaked Bourbon Bottle in Bond 

Bottle of Ragged Branch Double Oaked

Average Price: around $49.95/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 63.12% ABV 

Why We Like It: The aroma of oak and toasty malt is very enticing. The flavors then develop on the tongue with hints of sweet tobacco and vanilla bean.

After a few drops of water, this bourbon [1] shows hints of dark chocolate and caramel, followed by a smooth and full-bodied finish.

7. Hidden Still – David E. Double Oaked Bourbon

Hidden Still - David E. Double Oaked Bourbon Bottle and a Glases of Cocktail Drink

Average Price: around $42/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 48.5% ABV 

Why We Like It: Hidden Still – David E. Bourbon Double Oaked delivers a medium finish. We like the smooth and creamy palate, highlighted by stone fruit and brown sugar. 

The oak bite lingers, and the small amount of burn has hints of soft cinder on the throat.

Overall, this is a good expression — satisfyingly delicious. 

6. Kentucky Peerless Double Oak

Close Up Shot of Peerless Double Oaked Bourbon Bottle Label

Average Price: around $85/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 54.9% ABV

Why We Like It: Kentucky Peerless Double Oak is a rich pour filled with oak flavors and enhanced by its dark-chocolate color. 

Due to its savory notes, we recommend this expression if you’re into drinking intense and flavorful bourbons. 

There are a few lower-priced double-barreled brands similar to this, but this one is likely to be the most intense of them all.

5. Tom’s Town Double Oaked Bourbon

Toms Town Bourbon Whiskey Bottle

Average Price: around $37/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV 

Why We Like It: Tom’s Town Double Oaked Bourbon is a spicy and warm expression with notes of honey, maple, and butterscotch.

This is a great crowd-pleaser that’s perfect for any cocktail.

The wood stave finishing process is carried out in white American oak barrels.

After that, the barrels are filled with American and French oak staves, adding notes of caramel without the bitterness that can occur with aging. 

4. Prichard’s Double Barreled Bourbon

3 Bottles of Prichard's Double Barreled Bourbon

Average Price: around $50/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV 

Why We Like It: The quality flavor of this Prichard’s Double Barreled Bourbon is due to its unique labor-intensive process that produces a high-proof expression. 

“A classy, effortless delivery. The corn-rye integration oozes sophistication, and the vanilla-themed oak offers the perfect background. Immediate bittersweet character celebrates both a raisin-fruity juiciness and a much firmer, burned-honeycombed middle; complex, classy and challenging; thuddingly firm with limited yield.”

— Jim Murray, Journalist.

We totally agree with what Jim Murray stated in his 2009 Whiskey Bible; the spices on this bourbon is a Kentucky thoroughbred, but with a distinct flavor– different from typical expressions.

3. Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon

Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon Whiskey Finished Sherry Oak Staves

Average Price: around $31.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 45% ABV 

Why We Like It: We find Noble Oak Bourbon rich and complex, with aromas of caramel corn, kola nut, and circus peanut. 

It has a bright and dry finish with hints of sweet corn, cherries, cinnamon, and black pepper. This is a great everyday bourbon that’s perfect enough to be sipped. 

2. Jim Beam Double Oak

Jim Beam Double Oak Bottle with liquor Bottles on the background

Average Price: around $22.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 43% ABV 

Why We Like It: This expression blends Jim Beam’s various characteristics with a twist. It will surely appeal to fans of other corn-forward brands.

The nose features creamy vanilla, old oak, and milk chocolate with a hint of cardamom.

It has an oaky flavor on the palate, followed by waves of vanilla ice cream, finishing with a touch of charred oak toastiness.

1. Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

Close Up Shot of  Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bottle

Average Price: around $54.95/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 45.2% ABV 

Why We Like It: The unique combination of charred oak barrels used in making Woodford Reserve Double Oaked creates a rich and bold flavor. 

The aroma features dark fruit, chocolate, and sharp honey.

The palate offers a full-bodied blend of dark caramel, vanilla, and fruit, followed by lingering hints of honeyed apple on the finish. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What makes a bourbon double-oaked?

Bourbon double-oaked expressions are uniquely aged in two separate charred oak barrels [2].

The second charred oak used is deeply toasted before light charring, producing an extra smooth and sweet character.   

How do you drink double-oaked bourbon?

You should drink double-oaked bourbon neat with a splash of water to enjoy its powerful flavor balance.

Also, you can add ice to tone down the alcohol for a nice combo of aroma and flavors. 

Is Double Oaked bourbon smoother?

Yes, Double Oaked bourbon is often considered smoother than its single-oaked counterparts. The “double” in its name refers to the unique aging process, where the bourbon undergoes a second round of maturation in a new, deeply charred oak barrel.

This additional aging imparts rich flavors and a smoother texture to the bourbon, as it absorbs more complex compounds from the wood, resulting in a nuanced and mellow profile.

The extended interaction with the oak contributes to a refined finish, making Double Oaked bourbon a favorite among those who appreciate a velvety and sophisticated drinking experience.

Is Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon good?

Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon is well-regarded for its quality and flavor profile. The double-oaking process, similar to that of other premium bourbons, lends a distinct character to Noble Oak.

The combination of aging in new charred American oak barrels and a secondary cask finish contributes to a well-balanced and flavorful bourbon. Many enthusiasts appreciate the harmonious blend of sweet, spicy, and oaky notes in Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon, making it a favorable choice for both sipping neat and crafting cocktails.

Its positive reception in the spirits community suggests that Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon is indeed considered “good” by those seeking a high-quality bourbon experience.

Is Double barrel bourbon better?

The preference for Double Barrel bourbon depends on individual taste preferences. Double barrel bourbon, also known as dual cask or twice-barreled bourbon, undergoes a unique aging process involving two separate barrels.

This method allows the bourbon to develop additional depth and complexity as it interacts with different wood profiles.

Some whiskey enthusiasts appreciate the intensified flavors and nuanced characteristics that result from this process, considering double barrel bourbon to be a step above traditional offerings. However, taste is subjective, and what one person may perceive as “better” could differ from another’s palate.

Exploring various bourbons, including double barrel expressions, allows consumers to discover the profiles that align with their personal preferences.

Do expensive bourbons taste better?

The correlation between the price of bourbon and its taste is not absolute. While some expensive bourbons offer exceptional quality and unique flavor profiles, there are also reasonably priced options that provide an excellent drinking experience.

The cost of bourbon can be influenced by factors such as aging time, production methods, and branding.

Expensive bourbons often undergo longer maturation periods in carefully selected barrels, contributing to more refined and complex flavors. However, personal taste preferences play a significant role, and individuals may find that certain mid-range or budget-friendly bourbons suit their palates just as well.

It’s recommended for enthusiasts to explore a range of bourbons across different price points to discover options that align with their specific preferences and budget constraints. Ultimately, the enjoyment of bourbon is a subjective experience, and the “better” choice depends on individual taste and preferences rather than price alone.

How long is Double Oaked aged?

Double Oaked bourbon is typically aged for an extended period to achieve its distinctive flavor profile. While specific aging durations can vary among distilleries, the process commonly involves aging the bourbon in a new charred oak barrel for a standard period, followed by a secondary maturation in another new barrel.

This dual-barrel aging imparts depth and complexity to the spirit, with the total aging time often exceeding the industry standard.

The additional time spent in the second barrel allows the bourbon to extract more flavors from the wood, contributing to the smooth and nuanced characteristics associated with Double Oaked bourbons.

Is Jim Beam Double Oak a bourbon?

Yes, Jim Beam Double Oak is indeed a bourbon. It is a variation of Jim Beam’s classic bourbon, undergoing a distinctive double-barrel aging process to enhance its flavor profile.

The traditional requirements for bourbon production, such as using at least 51% corn in the mash bill and aging the spirit in new charred oak barrels, apply to Jim Beam Double Oak.

The unique double-barrel aging imparts a richness and complexity to the bourbon, making it a noteworthy expression within the Jim Beam family of bourbons.

What does Double Oaked bourbon taste like?

Double Oaked bourbon is celebrated for its rich and complex flavor profile. The dual-barrel aging process enhances the spirit with a symphony of tastes.

Expect a prominent sweetness from the corn in the mash bill, complemented by the deep caramel and vanilla notes derived from the charred oak barrels. The second round of maturation intensifies these flavors, adding layers of spice, oak, and sometimes a hint of smokiness.

The result is a well-balanced bourbon with a velvety texture, offering a sensory journey that combines sweetness, spice, and the distinct influence of the oak barrels.

How long is Jim Beam Double Oak aged?

Jim Beam Double Oak undergoes a unique aging process involving twice-barreled maturation. While the exact duration of aging can vary, it typically extends beyond the standard aging period for traditional bourbons.

The bourbon initially ages in a new charred oak barrel, and after a certain period, it is transferred to a second new barrel for further maturation. This double-barrel aging process imparts a heightened complexity and depth to the bourbon’s flavor profile.

Although specific aging times may not always be disclosed by the distillery, enthusiasts can generally expect Jim Beam Double Oak to undergo a more extended maturation compared to standard Jim Beam bourbons, contributing to its distinctive taste and character.

What makes bourbon smoother?

Bourbon’s smoothness is influenced by several factors, including its mash bill, distillation process, and aging in new charred oak barrels.

The high corn content in the mash bill, required to be at least 51%, contributes a natural sweetness, while the distillation process helps remove impurities. The aging process, especially in charred barrels, imparts flavors and smoothness as the spirit interacts with the wood, mellowing harsh notes and creating a more refined taste.

What makes a bourbon taste smooth?

A bourbon’s smooth taste is achieved through a combination of factors. The choice of grains in the mash bill, particularly a significant proportion of corn, imparts a sweet and smooth foundation.

The distillation process plays a crucial role in removing impurities that can cause harshness. Additionally, the aging process in new charred oak barrels allows the bourbon to develop complex flavors while smoothing out any rough edges, resulting in a well-balanced and palatable spirit.

Is bourbon supposed to be smooth?

While personal preferences vary, many bourbon enthusiasts appreciate a smooth and well-balanced profile in their spirits. The characteristics of smoothness in bourbon are often associated with a harmonious blend of flavors, minimal harshness, and a pleasing mouthfeel.

The standards and regulations governing bourbon production aim to ensure a certain level of quality, which includes aspects of smoothness.

However, individual taste preferences play a significant role, and some bourbon drinkers may seek variations that offer a more robust or intense experience.

Which is smoother: whiskey, bourbon, or scotch?

The perception of smoothness in whiskey, bourbon, and scotch can be subjective and depends on individual taste preferences. Bourbon, with its high corn content and often sweeter profile, is generally considered smoother by many.

However, whiskey and scotch offer their own unique characteristics. Scotch, produced in Scotland, often exhibits peaty and smoky notes, which might be perceived as less smooth by those seeking a milder taste.

Ultimately, the smoothness of each depends on factors such as the specific brand, aging process, and individual palate, making it a matter of personal preference. Exploring different varieties within each category allows drinkers to find the smoothness that aligns best with their taste preferences.

Final Verdict: Best Double Oaked Bourbon

While double-oaked bourbons might be too tannic for some, more drinkers prefer these expressions’ oak intensity and bold flavors. 

For anyone into high-proof bottles with flavorsome notes, we suggest trying these double-oaked expressions that will satisfy your tastebuds and the bourbon spirit within you.  

References:

  1. Bourbon Whiskey
  2. Oak Barrels
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