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KCM Spirit Reviews

Monday, January 21, 2013

Review 135: Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Review 135
Buffalo Trace Bourbon: 45% abv

Background: Buffalo Trace is the standard offering presented by the Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. This distillery has been known by several different names, most notably the George T. Stagg distillery, which is another bourbon to look out for. The distillery will tell you it was located at an ancient buffalo crossing, which is cool…I guess. Buffalo Trace distillery makes quite a number of spirits, not limited to bourbon or even rye, but including vodka. These include Ancient Age, Blanton’s, Eagle Rare, Thomas H. Handy, Weller, Sazerac, and Rain vodka. Today, we focus on Buffalo Trace bourbon though. This particular bourbon, their namesake, uses their mash bill #1. It is one of two mash bills, and it can be considered their more “bourbon-esque” bill. With how many different whiskies they make, it may seem impossible for them to ONLY have two bills for all of them, but don’t forget how many dimensions there are to making a whiskey. The yeast can be a huge part of the flavor content. Let’s actually take a look at the taste profile now.

Nose: Oak, honey, sweet fruits, fudge, caramel, molasses, vanilla, cocoa powder, slightly floral, cabernet, sugar, brandy
            A/W: Harsher nose, harsh hot grain notes, a little more spice
Arrival: Honey, molasses, starts cool, dry spice, wheat, vanilla, caramel
            A/W: Maple, spicy
Body: Medium mouthfeel, wheat, custard, rum-like, molasses, dry
            A/W: Maple, cinnamon, ginger
Finish: Coca, touch of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cream, custard, vanilla, wheat, yeast, dry, medium long
A/W: Ginger, cinnamon, mint, more balanced, much more enjoyable

Final Comments: You might call this a dessert bourbon, with its sweet smooth character. It is 45% and we love how the complexity just keeps on coming after a little bit of water. Initially, its mellow nature made it seem like water was an unnecessary addition, but just a little bit can help bring out even more. The docile nature of this bourbon doesn’t take away from the uniqueness, or complexity, and we appreciate that. This isn’t the most spicy bourbon you’ll have come across, but that isn’t a bad thing. This is a good one by any standards, and when you find out how much it costs, it might make you drool.

Why you’d buy it: You want a nice, sweet bourbon with good complexity and a gentle presence.

Why you wouldn’t: You want your bourbon to put hair on your chest.

Score: 9.5/10

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