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One Tree For Every Bottle: This Is Noble Oak Whiskey

Photo Courtesy Noble Oak Whiskey

Noble Oak Whiskey has been trying to restore the world’s forests. Working with One Tree Planted and other reforestation nonprofit organizations, the whiskey company has planted more than 1 million trees throughout the United States.

Noble Oak is finished and bottled at the Brain Brew Distillery in Newtown, Ohio. It’s aged in a double oak maturation process in charred American white oak barrels for two year. The bourbon is then moved to Spanish Sherry oak cask staves to finish its maturation process. 

Founded in 2017, Noble Oak is part of Edrington of Scotland, including The Macallan Scotch, Wyoming Whiskey, and No. 3 London Dry Gin.

Edrington was founded by The Robertson Trust, which has given millions of British pounds to charities in Scotland. That mindset carried into Noble Oak in America. 

Noble Oak has taken up these reforestation efforts because they recognize the importance of trees in their distillation process. All American bourbon has to be made in charred oak barrels to meet the classification. The company wants to give back to nature by partnering with One Tree Planted. It began working with the reforestation nonprofit when it was only three years old. 

Photo Courtesy Connor Simonson

“As members of this Earth and the whiskey community, we want to make sure that both are sustainable and healthy,” Noble Oak representatives told The Business Download via email. “The connection falls within the need for trees to support our global community and our whiskey community; therefore, our goal is to give back — both in the glass and to the planet — more than we take.” 

Reforestation helps more than just the bourbon industry. All of these trees are planted with some kind of benefit in mind. Trees are necessary to absorb carbon emissions and produce oxygen, but also clean the air we breathe, support biodiversity, cool down the planet thanks to carbon absorption and shade, and provide significant health benefits to humans. 

The work with One Tree Planted has seen new trees planted everywhere from upstate New York, the mountains of California, rural Georgia, Illinois, Idaho, Oregon, and Arizona. The projects vary by location. Some are urban reforestation, while others are areas recovering after wildfires. The website has several stories explaining the reason for the planting projects and locations. 

Noble Oak has contributed to the planting of over a million trees.

“The planting projects we support are chosen along with our partners at One Tree Planted, who partner with local tree planting organizations that best understand the specific needs of each community across the United States,” Noble Oak representatives said. 

The company also works with The Common Orchard Project and The Giving Grove in Cincinnati. Noble Oak has helped  plant fruit trees that provide produce, tree canopy shade, more walkable green space, and community engagement.There is a training program for Orchard Stewards who tend the trees.

Company representatives said in their email that more urban reforestation and restoration projects are scheduled for 2024. 

Photo Courtesy Noble Oak Whiskey

Reviews for the bourbon have been good. Jennifer Williams at The Whiskey Wash gave it an eight out of 10. She noted hints of fruit, sweet tobacco, walnut, spearmint, vanilla, and cherries. She mentioned the awards the bourbon won, which included 94 points at the 2021 Ultimate Spirits Challenge, Innovation Award at the 2021 Sip Awards, and Gold at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In 2023, Noble Oak earned 96 points at the Chilled 100 Spirit Awards and won the Great Value prize at the 2023 Ultimate Spirits Challenge. 

A fact sheet shared with The Business Download by Noble Oak says customers should taste vanilla, warm spices, dried fruits, and honey. The bourbon mixes well in several original cocktails like the Honey Tree Toddy or the Oakspresso Martini. It’s perfect for Old Fashioneds or can be enjoyed neat. The company also makes rye whiskey, bourbon, and a Trinity Reserve batch. 

“Our inspiration is the mighty oak tree, the source of 70% of Noble Oak whiskey’s award-winning flavor and 100% of the coloring, and what better way to give back to the planet than by planting trees in communities across the United States?” the company representatives said. Indeed, what better way!


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