We were lucky to be able to welcome a representative from Buffalo Trace to come over to Woodchester to talk us through the history, production and tasting notes for 3 of the nights bottles (thanks to Jay for a Job well done).
As we learned throughout the evening, in the US the distilleries release many different brands under one umbrella so Buffalo Trace not only have a name same but many other brands and bottles all from the same distillery.
Buffalo Trace is the flagship expression from the distillery of the same name. This is made from Buffalo Rye Mash #1 which consists of 80% corn, 10% rye & 10% malted barley. Then it is aged for around 8 yrs in Virgin charred oak casks that are sourced from sustainable oak trees over 70 years old.
The end result is caramel golden and really oily. It stocks to the glass beautifully and has a wonderful nose. Big waves of vanilla, sweet grain and nuts.
In the mouth the vanilla is as present as promised. Sweetness, dark fruits, light spices and rye.
The finish is long, spicy, drying and tangy.
This is a quality drop for the price. On the night this was voted the bottle people were most likely to buy.
From Buffalo Trace comes the bigger brother Eagle Rare 10 yr single barrel. Just like its little brother (Buffalo Trace) it is made from Buffalo Rye Mash #1 which consists of 80% corn, 10% rye & 10% malted barley. Then it is aged for around 10 yrs in Virgin oak casks and each barrel is carefully selected and bottled.
In the glass it is rich, dark, golden caramel colour.
The nose is sweet, rich with grain and ripe cherries.
On the palate there is a punchy oak tang, sweet vanilla, allspice, dark fruits and grain.
It is well balanced and has a long spicy finish.
This is another great bottle from Buffalo Trace. Voted the favourite bottle on the night but being priced at around £35 per bottle it wasn't deemed twice as good as the £20 Buffalo Trace.
Barrel proof 53.5% ABV
This is the 3rd from Buffalo Trace and came with a solid recommendation. This is a Wheated Bourbon and was a "first" for the whole group. I wasn't sure what to expect flavour wise.
The Colour is dark caramel brown and looks thick, sticky and oily in the glass.
The nose gives you Corn, honey, very sweet ripe plums, toffee, floral and grassy notes.
Rich and smooth on the palate. Ripe figs, sticky dates, Oak, honey, corn.
Finish is pleasant peppery, fairly long and slightly drying.
As my first Wheated bourbon it is a success. Very pleasant and interesting. Definitely worth trying if you haven't already.
Continuing with my theme of Bourbons this was one that was supposedly a real bargain. Bourbons can be very expensive in the UK and this one is at an entry level price point along with Buffalo Trace at £20.
This is fairly pale for a bourbon which makes it look young in the glass. Oily and a golden straw colour.
The nose gives aniseed, corn, spices and sweet. Lots of vanilla and a little citrus.
Palate is smooth, lots of vanilla, honey, a little liquorice, corn. It has a mouth feel that is slightly thinner than the Weller and the finish is fairly short. Nice but not as good as the Buffalo Trace considering they are the same price. Very easy drinking but it doesn't set the world alight.
Bottled in bond at 100 proof / 50% ABV.
This is a straight Rye Whiskey which means the mash bill must contain at least 51% rye. When we drank this bottle on the night it was slightly closed off and whilst nice, wasn't amazing. I was recommended to let it air for a while before trying it again so I did. After being open for 3 weeks I tried a small glass and it is a different beast. The review below is the 2nd tasting note having been open for 3 weeks.
The colour is golden caramel and it has good legs and a nice oily sheen.
The nose is punchy with cherries, aniseed, vanilla, citrus and a floral hint. Adding a tiny drop of water brings sticky dates and develops the aniseed slightly.
Lovely on the palate. Spicy, vanilla, dark chocolate, rye, dark fruits. It's sweet, quite rich and full bodied.
The finish tingles the gums and tongue with sweet yet peppery aniseed that is slightly drying at first before then making me salivate quite a lot. Long and lingering and extremely pleasant. A great example of good rye.
I was a lot more impressed with it the 2nd time around than the first. This is a bottle that needs to breathe. If it had been this good on the night I would have thought it would have given the Eagle Rare a run for it's money as "best bottle"