October 21, 2020 – Bulleit Frontier Whiskey is teaming up with American Forests, the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization, founded in 1875, to plant one million trees over the next five years. The partnership will reforest eastern landscapes dominated by white oaks, a key species for wildlife, water conservation and forest products. And, most importantly, white oak is an important component in the production of bourbon.
By definition, bourbon must be aged in new charred oak barrels for at least two years and it is the time spent in white oak barrels when bourbon acquires the delicious toasty, vanilla, caramel, nutty notes enjoyed by bourbon drinkers. The used barrel continues its life for many years aging other spirits such as rum, Scotch whisky and tequila produced by Bulleit’s corporate parent, Diageo.
“White oak forests benefit every aspect of our lives, from providing clean air and water to the amazing smells and flavors in a glass of bourbon,” said Jad Daley, President and CEO of American Forests. “This great new partnership with Bulleit will give back to these forests by taking care of white oak forests for long-term health and resilience.”
Besides guaranteeing plenty of oak for aging whiskey, these one million trees planted through the Bulleit and American Forests partnership will provide a variety of environmental benefits for years to come. American Forests has calculated these benefits to include:
645,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide will be stored over the next 100 years*, equal to removing the emissions from driving 140,000 cars over one year.**
An average of 74,000 pounds of air pollutants will be removed from the air per year.*** For fine particles like dust, this benefit is equal to removing 1,000 cars from the road.**
An average of 75 million gallons of runoff will be conserved per year,*** equal to the volume of water stored by 114 Olympic sized swimming pools.
Providing Vital Wildlife Habitat:
Roughly 2,000 acres of critical forest across several states in the Eastern U.S. will be restored.****
* Estimates on carbon storage derived from USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis data for Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee, the regions we expect to plant in.
** EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.
*** Estimates derived from an average tree planting throughout our planting region using iTree County.
**** Estimated by American Forests based on previous plantings and average trees planted per acre.
In addition to its reforestation efforts in large landscapes, Bulleit has committed to supporting American Forests’ goal of creating tree equity and green space in urban areas. These Community ReLeaf efforts are set to kick-off in 2021 in Louisville, KY.
Follow the link here for more interesting information on our white oak forests and this restoration project.