Some Experiments from Buffalo Trace

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Hi all, Nic here. I’ve been on the (blogging) shelf for a while, but we’ve had some new Bourbons trickling in at the The Whisky Exchange and I thought I would share a few of my thoughts on them. I really should thank Jon and Matt from Dach and Sons in Hampstead for our little tasting session last week, as we sampled some really interesting whiskies from Buffalo Trace’s Experimental Collection.

Buffalo Trace has a rare luxury in the world of whisky in that they have thousands of mature barrels sitting in their warehouses. In fact, in 1998 Buffalo Trace acquired around 150,000 barrels when they bought Old Charter, so expect a lot more of these whiskies to grace our shores in the coming years. In 2011, there were five Experimental releases, three of which are some of the oldest Bourbons to be released, with the other two being some unusual expressions including Bourbon made with Rice and Oats.

Buffalo Trace Rediscovered 1991 – 1 of the 3 ‘Rediscovered Barrels’ the others a 1989 and 1993

Color: Deep Amber/Mahogany
Nose: Stewed fruits, treacle, good dose of spicy wood, almost nutty
Palate: Rich and complex on the palate, red fruits cooked down with sugar, Christmas spices, old wood and a hint of leather
Finish: Long and deeply warming. This doesn’t drink like a 45% whisky. Big, bold and muscular with spices resurfacing
Comment: This is a beautiful whisky that shows its 19 years in the wood well. The finish lasts forever. Jon from Dach & Sons summed it up best, saying that it is the very essence of George T. Stagg. I would have to agree with that…

Buffalo Trace made with Rice

Color: Old gold with amber hues
Nose: Light and perfumed, stone fruits, some caramel sweetness
Palate: Very clean entry and slightly gristy, baking spices, a little hollow through the mid-palate
Finish: A decent finish, with light spice again re-surfacing, a crisp rice grain note on the fade
Comment: An interesting Bourbon that drinks more like a blended whiskey

Buffalo Trace made with Oats

Color: Amber/Mahogany
Nose: A damp, musty note with some clove and red apple, and a slight appearance of a cereal note towards the end
Palate: A bittersweet entry, cherries and a big hit of oak, muesli and a strange sour note through the mid-palate
Finish: The sour note lingers through the finish with some spice again. The appearance of that muesli/oat flavour stays around as well
Comment: This experiment may be a little off. I just can’t get pass that sweet and sour note mixed in with the grainy finish

One was memorable, the other two, well, let’s just say they were ‘experimental’. That is the glorious thing about what Buffalo Trace is doing: pushing the envelope, inspiring debate, and truly making history…

Posted in North American Whisk(e)y, Whisky Tasting Notes

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