Buffalo Trace, the 2005-2007 Distiller of the Year, is responsible for some of the finest bourbon in production. Their stable of brands includes (but is not limited to) Blanton’s, George T Stagg, Eagle Rare and the legendary Pappy Van Winkle. In other words, these guys know how to make some bourbon! Buffalo Trace claims to be the oldest (not necessarily continuously-operating) distilling site in the United States. With this heritage in mind, I was excited to try the bottle that carries the distillery’s name.
I have been meaning to try this flagship whiskey from Buffalo Trace for quite some time now, but given the price ($20-24), I was not expecting liquid gold. Boy, was I wrong. I was shocked how smooth and drinkable it was. The caramel and slightly nutty nose carries over into its initial kick. The flavor then transitions to a nice sweetness and very subtle mint undertone that many have described as a white corn. Finally on the finish, the oak takes over with a mellow but long aftertaste.
For around $20 whiskey enthusiasts are getting an extremely complex bottle of whiskey. This might be the finest “cheap” bourbon I have ever bought and it has earned a permanent spot in my liquor cabinet. I drank BT three ways, neat, on the rocks, and (gasp) with a splash of soda. I found that my favorite way to drink it was with a couple of ice cubes to cool it off and bring out some of the sweeter undertones.
In conclusion, Buffalo Trace is a very good and affordable bourbon that you will reach for over and over again.
If you really want to go slummin’, try the McAfeee’s Benchmark #8. It’s in a plastic bottle, but it comes from the same charred North American Oak barrels as Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare. Ever so slightly more aggressive profile, and totally delicious. Just a little trick you learn when you go visit the ‘still.
Thanks for the suggestion. We’ll have to add the McAfee Benchmark #8 to the next round table discussion at The Trot Line.
Mr G's Cigars says
Amazing bourbon. Have added it to a few lists on my cigar blog in the past and continue to suggest it to friends.
Wellers and Old Weller Antique are both great Wheated Bourbons. Sean Brock recommends them as “precursors” to Pappy. Just watch out, Old Weller Antique is smooth at 107 proof and can sneak up on ya!