One of the reasons why so many people enjoy whiskey is because of the flavors created by the the famous wooden barrels.
As whiskey is aged in these barrels, the wood starts to influence the taste of the whisky, and the spirit absorbs special compounds such as “whiskey lactone.” Otherwise known as “quercus lactone,” this compound is known for its strong coconut aroma.
Aging in oak barrels is said to be the greatest indicator of quality in fine whiskey. These barrels are often charred and “toasted” in order to create even finer notes and aromas in the final product.
But today, these special whiskey barrels are used for much more than simply aging our favorite spirits.
This rustic, aged, and charred oak can be used to create a number of different interesting products.
Today, you can purchase cufflinks, tie bars, and even rings made from whiskey barrels.
But if you really want to wear whiskey barrel accessories with style, there are even special sunglasses made from this prized, aged oak.
This is definitely one of the most interesting ideas we’ve come across, and it’s much more than just a simple gimmick.
Wooden sunglasses are definitely trendy right now, and we see tons of people wearing them around on the street.
These stylish shades are also made from reclaimed wood, which makes them incredibly sustainable and eco-friendly. If you’re planning on moving away from plastic frames, these whiskey barrel sunglasses could be exactly what you’re looking for.
But before we get into our favorite brands of whiskey barrel sunglasses, it’s important to note that your shades could be constructed from various types of oak.
As any whiskey enthusiast will tell you, there are different types of oaken barrels used to age whiskey, and each type of oak imparts its own distinct tastes and aromas on the whiskey.
Your sunglasses might be constructed from any of these types of oak:
White American Oak
White American Oak is known for its tight grain, which releases tannins much slower than other types of oak.
Whiskey distillers usually set their White oak on fire very briefly before extinguishing the flame and using this wood to make barrels. The charring process caramelizes the sugars in the wood, creating honey and vanilla notes.
Sessile European Oak
Sessile European oak creates spicy and peppery notes in contrast to the White Oak, and this is a perfect oak for those who want a darker whiskey with more tannins.
Penduncate European Oak
This type of European Oak is ideal for aging whiskey over a short time, providing tannins quickly. The wood also imparts strong fruity notes, although this is mostly due to the fact that these barrels have previously been used to age wine.
Japanese Mizunara Oak
If you’re a fan of Japanese whiskey, you’ve probably tasted the effect that Mizunara Oak has had on whiskey. This type of oak is unique because it retains a lot of moisture.
The end result is a whiskey that features notes of cloves and dried fruits, among others.
Garry American Oak
Garry Oak is one of the rarest types of wood used to age whiskey, and it’s definitely unique.
You’ll only find this type of oak in specific regions of the Pacific Northwest, including British Columbia and Northern California.
This type of oak is special because it creates dark, complex notes that you won’t find anywhere else. These notes include coffee grounds, smoke, and molasses.
Now that we’ve covered the various types of wood that your sunglasses might be made out of, let’s explore some of our favorite brands:
Small Batch Eyewear
These incredible sunglasses are sold by a number of online retailers, and they’re proving to be quite popular.
These shades are made from genuine American White Oak taken from used whiskey barrels down in Kentucky.
Although these sunglasses definitely have an interesting story behind them and look amazing, they’re also very functional.
Wear these sunglasses, and you’ll enjoy 100% UV protection. These sunglasses are also very durable, with reinforced frames and double-hinged construction. The wood is slightly flexible, which ensures a snug fit.
In case you’re worried about these sunglasses being knock-offs, each unit comes with a certificate of authenticity which clearly states the specific brand of whiskey your sunglasses come from.
They even come in their own custom oaken box.
These are definitely some of the best whiskey barrel sunglasses we’ve ever seen.
You can find these whiskey barrel sunglasses on Amazon, and they’re certainly an eye-catcher.
Although the frames are classically-styled, there’s something unique about the shape that definitely appeals to us.
Once again, these sunglasses are made from American White Oak, and the wood comes directly from the famous Maker’s Mark distillery in Kentucky.
In addition, these shades feature mirrored lenses that are completely polarized with 100% UV400 protection. You can also choose between metallic and golden colored lenses, depending on your sense of style.
Because of the shape of these sunglasses, they might be ideal for those with large faces.
When you receive these sunglasses, you’ll find them neatly tucked away in a special carrying pouch and tube.
Best of all, these sunglasses were handcrafted and designed in the United States with spring-loaded hinges and top-class construction methods.
Recently, eyewear-designer Shwood teamed up with Bodega and Bushmills Irish Whiskey to create these stunning sunglasses.
The wood used to create these sunglasses is shipped directly from the Bushmills distillery. But even though the wood comes from Europe, you’ll find that the casks are still made from American Oak – and by extension, so are these sunglasses.
For those who don’t know, Bushmills Irish whiskey is the oldest distillery in the world. Because of this, you’ll be wearing sunglasses made from wood that is well over 100 years old.
Unfortunately, these amazing shades sold out pretty quickly, so you might have some trouble getting your hands on a pair. But if you do manage to hunt them down, you’ll be the proud owner of some of the best whiskey shades on the planet.