To be called bourbon, the whiskey American distillers make must be aged in new charred oak barrels — which requires a constant supply of wood. Given the worldwide popularity of bourbon, the whiskey-making operation requires the use of a whole lot of trees.
But one bourbon producer wants to make sure those trees are around for many more barrels to come.
In honor of Bourbon Heritage Month, which begins Sept. 1, Angel’s Envy is bringing back the social media campaign #ToastTheTrees. For every Facebook, Instagram or Twitter post that features that hashtag — along with a picture of an Angel’s Envy drink or bottle — the bourbon-making business will plant a white oak tree.
One Austin cocktail bar is helping with the local launch. Half Step will kick it off with a party this weekend featuring Angel’s Envy cocktails. Head to the Rainey Street bar from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday for Texas barbecue, complimentary cocktails and live music from CJ Edwards & the Funk Fellowship.
Angel’s Envy decided to start the campaign four years ago after recognizing just how many trees need replacing after they are transformed into wooden barrels for bourbon maturation. The white oak tree is the species most often harvested for American cooperages, according to Angel’s Envy.
"Each tree takes over 70 years to reach maturity and can yield between one and three barrels. With almost 20,000 barrels currently aging in our rickhouse, we’re still a relatively small operation; but, when you consider the massive popularity of bourbon, that’s a lot of trees to replace," Angel’s Envy noted in a blog post about the Toast for Trees campaign.
The bourbon producer has planted 25,000 white oak trees so far and is hoping this year will be the most successful one yet, adding ever more of the oaks to the Daniel Boone National Forest.
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