Buffalo Trace - (Liquor store barrel selection)


Nose: I find this has a light scent and I pick up on citrus and fruit scents. Palate: I confess that I haven’t had Buffalo Trace in quite some time. The first sip went down pretty easily. It has a medium and pleasant mouthfeel, although it is slightly “watery". The initial impression it gives is “classic bourbon”….that is, the caramel and vanilla that is the base for many bourbons. I also interestingly picked up some lemon, which I can’t remember ever tasting before. It isn’t harsh nor burning and the warmth is rather short and is felt predominantly in the back of the roof of my mouth during the finish. It leaves only the slightest of aftertaste, not unpleasant and a bit on the woody side. It’s flavor seems to be a balance between sweet and earthy/woody. I got hints of both on most sips. There is only the slightest whisper of rye spice that shows up a bit on the back end. I think that the balance of flavors on this makes it a bit difficult to pick out many specific flavors. Comments: I had drifted away from Buffalo Trace and, as mentioned above, haven’t had any in a while. I have to say that I can understand how it was consistently ranked in the top 10 bourbons for so many years. It is on the light side (despite the 90 proof) yet it has enough complexity to make it a very interesting sipper. Would I rank it in my top 10? Hmmmm…..good question. I’ve never done that (create a top 10) so I’m not sure. I suspect it would not make the top 10 but that it would be pretty close. Particularly this bottle, which was bottled for the folks at a local liquor store. They seem to do a pretty good job of picking when given a selection (one of their Eagle Rare choices is one of my favorites!). The beauty of this is that if you gauge the taste by the price, it is a very nice selection indeed. Despite what I think is the phony scarcity that some stores try to make you think exists, I think this is a good value for being in the mid $30 range. Meaning…..if you can’t find it at your local store, shop around. I have been to places where they limit you to one bottle and charge more, and then been to another store that literally has cases of it stacked up on an end display. Interestingly, it appears that this product exists because visitors to the Buffalo Trace Distillery kept asking why there wasn’t a bourbon called Buffalo Trace. They decided to make one and used their #1 mashbill, which reportedly has 10% or less rye (75% corn, 15% malted barley). Buffalo Trace (the distillery) states that the bourbon is batched from no more than 40 barrels at a time and that it is aged on the middle floors of various rickhouses. They say it is aged at least 8 years. This is good enough and reasonably priced enough to be an everyday sipper, so I’d recommend having it on the shelf……whether as YOUR every day sipper or just an occasional choice.