The whiskey is pretty good, and the cause is even better. (photo by Amy Lynch for Wine and Whiskey Globe)

Beyond its service as a preferred aging vessel, the mighty oak has inspired one spirits brand to pursue a higher mission. Established in 2017, Noble Oak partners with One Tree Planted to plant one tree for every bottle of whiskey it sells. Together, the two organizations have committed to adding more than 750,000 trees to the U.S. landscape through projects across the country, with a goal of hitting 1 million by the end of 2023. 

The flagship double-oak matured, 90-proof bourbon ($37) rests in charred American White Oak barrels for a minimum of one year before finishing with the addition of Spanish sherry cask staves. The result is a smooth golden sipper with subtle whiffs of honey and fruit. Hinting at a fairly straightforward formula of vanilla, brown sugar and corn to start, the flavor shifts into a gentle baking spice direction with woody oak notes.

A splash of water tames a slightly bitter note (imparted by the sherry staves?), though all-in-all this spirit reads a bit thin.  We can’t help but suspect this bourbon would benefit from a much longer aging period—more time in wood!—to create greater depth and complexity.

Noble Oak also produces an award-winning Double Oak Rye and a Trinity Reserve Straight Bourbon finished with Japanese Mizunara Oak, OIoroso sherry-seasoned European Oak and American Ex-bourbon Oak. So you can help in a variety of flavors.