Gabe's View

Wine: Reviews, Thoughts & Culture

Buffalo Trace – Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey / Eagle Rare Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Posted by Gabe on December 6, 2012

Buffalo Trace Distillery has a history that dates back many years. However they took their current name in 1999. Their flagship Bourbon is the Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey; additionally they make a number of other selections regularly as well as special bottles of limited Bourbons from time to time. Today I’m going to take a look at a few of their releases that I recently sampled and really enjoyed.

First up is the flagship offering, the Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. This is a widely available selection that sells nationally for right around $25. Hints of vanilla bean, toast and hazelnut emerge from the nose of this standard bearer of Bourbon. Rich flavors are in evidence on the silky mid-palate which is loaded with apricot, toffee and spices. Crème Brulee, clover honey, and white pepper are all in evidence on the lengthy and warming finish. This is a smooth and layered Bourbon that offers excellent value and complexity in its price-point. It’s important to have go to options in life, things you can count on to provide quality and value at a reasonable price. This stalwart from Buffalo Trace is just that.

Next up is the Eagle Rare Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon. This selection was aged for 10 years prior to release. It’s also available nationally and most often sells for right around $30. Bits of white chocolate and vanilla bean are prominent in the nose here. The palate is ultra smooth and dotted with spices, almond and nectarine characteristics. The finish is super-long laden with orange peel, white pepper and a hint of toffee. This Bourbon does a phenomenal job balancing power and grace from the first whiff through the last sip. The Eagle Rare Single Barrel Bourbon represents an absolutely tremendous value.

Finally, here’s a quick look at a couple of their rare bottles. Officially these are part of the Experimental Collection and they’re made sporadically and in very small batches. I sampled the Buffalo Trace Rice Bourbon as well as the Buffalo Trace Oat Bourbon. The Rice Bourbon starts with a big and booming nose loaded with caramel and vanilla aromas. Apricot, yeast and spice notes are part of the palate which is weighty and substantial. The lengthy finish is layered with orange peel, spices, burnt sugar and almonds. This is a distinct and powerful expression of Bourbon. The Oat Bourbon has a markedly subtler nose with bits or stone fruit and gentle spice characteristics emerging. The palate shows mesquite honey, spices and lots of nuance. The finish has good length with vanilla bean and white pepper in evidence. These are both interesting expressions that stand out from the pack and are well worth investigating for those seeking the road less travelled.

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