Noble Oak Bourbon

Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon Review

Meet Luke

Luke is a Level I Certified Whiskey Specialist with a passion for exploring and unearthing the best whiskeys around. Luke has a preference for Rye whiskeys but has tasted over 250 different whiskeys to date varying from bourbons to scotches. He continues to expand upon his whiskey knowledge by tasting dozens of bottles monthly and reviewing them here on Barrel and Brew as he pursues his Masters of Whiskey certification.

Noble Oak is a brand with a clear mission – one that is more than just whiskey and profits. Noble Oak has committed to planting a tree for every bottle sold. So, we figured we should do a review on their whiskey and look more into their noble efforts.

After discussing more on their mission and history, we’ll discuss the tasting notes, price, and value of a bottle of Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon.

Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon

The Noble Oak Mission

Noble Oak is partnered with One Tree Planted, a non-profit focused on reforestation. Per One Tree Planted’s website, they plant a tree for every dollar donated. So, it seems that Noble Oak donates a dollar to One Tree Planted for every bottle they sell.

To date, Noble Oak has committed to planting 571,000 trees. 390,353 trees have been planted, 145,670 are in progress, and 34,977 trees are committed but not yet started. I don’t how accurate these numbers are, I’m sure they are constantly changing, too. These numbers come direct from the Noble Oak Website.

Areas Impacted

Noble Oak has either planted or are committed to planting trees all across the US. They have supported reforestation efforts on the west coast, pacific northwest, Texas, Detroit, Orlando, Atlanta, New York, and many more in between.

In California, their efforts are meant to protect water quality. In Detroit, they are creating a greener city, and in New York they are reducing potential for erosion. These are just a few examples of the importance of growing our forests and green spaces. If you’re interested in helping out, buy a bottle of Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon or their Double Oak Rye. Or, simply donate to One Tree Planted yourself.

Noble Oak History

There really isn’t much information out there on Noble Oak’s history, company info, or anything else. It seems that the writer over at 31 Whiskey did some digging, though. He found that Brain Brew Ventures was approved for the Noble Oak label. One of Brain Brew’s businesses is Brain Brew Custom Whiskey out of Newtown, Ohio which matches the Noble Oak bottle.

It seems that Noble Oak is a collaboration between Brain Brew, The Eureka! Ranch, and Edrington – the distillers of The Macallan scotch. Brain Brew provides their WoodCraft aging process, The Eurkea! Ranch has an operating distillery, and Edrington sources sherry oak casks.

Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon Overview

Though Noble Oak’s history and leadership is quite confusing, even after some research, their mission is still clear: create great whiskey and restore forests. Let’s first take a look at what exactly their whiskey is.

Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon is a 90 proof (45%) ABV bourbon that spends time in two oak casks. First, it’s aged for a minimum one year in American White Oak Barrels. After that, it’s finished in sherry oak casks staves for rapid aging.

So, their whiskey isn’t aged for long, but it’s meant to go through a “rapid aging” process. Does it work, though? We know they’re committed to restoring forests, but have they created great whiskey?

Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon Tasting Notes

Nose: Oak, vanilla, brown sugar

Taste: A little thin. Caramel, vanilla, and light notes of dried fruit. Fairly basic, not much depth.

Finish: Fairly light and easy. Caramel flavors with a little hint of peppery spice in the throat.

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Taste Summary

Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon is a basic bourbon. There isn’t much special about it, and it doesn’t have rich or deep flavors to go along with it. It’s not offensive in any way, just not special in any way either. While there are some very light notes of dried fruit, I don’t think the sherry cask adds much.

Overall, this bottle would be much better with more time. More time in the initial barrel and more time in the sherry casks. It’s tough to make rich whiskey that spends just over a year in barrels.

Noble Oak Bourbon

Noble Oak Bourbon Price

Taste isn’t always the primary reason we buy a bottle. We may prefer to buy a decent bottle for $25 than a great bottle for $50. So, how much does Noble Oak Bourbon cost? Is it worth buying? Let’s take a look.

Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon 750ml Price: $31-36

Noble Oak Value

Noble Oak has a problem. From a price perspective, it sits right in the middle of Maker’s Mark, Four Roses, Basil Hayden’s, and many other large brand, high quality whiskeys. If you’re looking for craft whiskey, there are so many options available that are better than Noble Oak – Hudson Whiskey, Breckenridge Bourbon, and Redemption Whiskey.

In the $30-40 range, Noble Oak just doesn’t stand a chance in terms of quality. However, there is added value to a bottle of Noble Oak Bourbon – every bottle plants a tree.

The issue with this is that it only costs a $1 donation to One Tree Planted to plant a tree. It does roughly account for 2.5-3% revenue of every bottle sold, so I’m not knocking Noble Oak. However, if you really care about the reforestation cause, buy a better bottle of whiskey and donate $1 to One Tree Planted.

In fact, I’ll do you one better. Fistful of Bourbon, a flavorful bourbon, costs about $25. I think it’s much better than Noble Oak, and you can plant 10 trees for the same price.

Noble Oak Bourbon Review Summary

I don’t want to be too rough on Noble Oak. Even if their mission is simply a marketing tactic that costs them $1 per bottle, it doesn’t change the good they are doing. There are simply far too many whiskeys out there that are better for a similar or lower price. AND there’s nothing stopping you from donating to reforestation causes yourself.

Let me also set something straight. Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon isn’t a bad whiskey. I don’t think it belongs in the mid $30 price range. The flavors are basic, it’s not very rich and it lacks depth – it’s an all around average or basic bourbon. Better put, it’s an average bourbon at $25, not $35.

Noble Oak Bourbon FAQ

Below are frequently asked questions regarding Noble Oak Double Oak Bourbon. Many of these are answered in the article above.

How Long is Noble Oak Bourbon Aged?

Noble Oak spends a minimum of 1 year in charred new American White Oak barrels. It then undergoes a “rapid aging” process where it’s finished in sherry cask staves.

Who Makes Noble Oak Bourbon?

Noble Oak Bourbon is produced by Brain Brew and their sister company The Eureka! Ranch. I’m not sure how deep the partnership runs, but they source their barrels from Edrington. The Edrington marketing team also came up with the idea to plant a tree for every bottle sold.

Is Noble Oak Good Whiskey?

It’s not bad. I don’t think it’s worth north of $30, and there are many options for $25 that I like more. If you really want to support reforestation and drink good whiskey, I’d recommend buying a better bottle and donating to One Tree Planted.

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  1. I have read some decent reviews of the Noble Oak Bourbon, but when you say that Fistful of Bourbon is much better I question either the other reviews or your opinion of Fistful, which I thought was not good at all, and have never heard a good comment about it before now.

    1. Dan,

      First, taste is a very subjective thing, so what I like, you may not – and vice versa. Fistful of Bourbon is a very unique bourbon with lots of flavor. Some may like those flavors, some may not. It is a touch thin, but it’s also a $25 bottle.
      There is little unique about Noble Oak. It’s a fairly run of the mill profile that has a thin mouthfeel; however, this option is $35.
      Plenty of people are going to be turned away by Fistful of Bourbon due to its intense flavors and unique profile, but that’s what makes it a fun pour, and I like trying new and different things. There are too many really good whiskeys at $35 for me to hype up Noble Oak. But again, this is mostly subjective

  2. Hey Luke – I was looking at this one on sale at Internet Wines for $27. Sounds like I’d better look elsewhere. I’ve seen other comments about its young age being an issue. I did spring for Old Bardstown Kentucky Straight for $15 though. Thanks again!

    One more quick comment. I’ve read some of your reviews again, and I get something new out of them each time. 👍👍👍

    1. It’s not bad, there’s just so many better options at that price point. Enjoy the Old Bardstown! As I recall, it’s pretty good especially given the price tag.

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