Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Buffalo Trace, the bourbon, is produced at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY, along with almost 20 other great bourbons (Elmer T. Lee, Blanton’s, Col. E. H. Taylor, Pappy Van Winkle, Eagle Rare, and many others). In my opinion, this distillery is overall making the best bourbons on the planet right now, and they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Owned by the Sazerac Company out of Louisiana–the largest distilling company in the USA, they own a few other distilleries other than Buffalo Trace–they have the money to go as far as they want. I will be watching Buffalo Trace every step of the way, and I’m super excited to see what the future holds for them.
Let’s talk about the Buffalo Trace brand bourbon. While not the very most exciting product the distillery is producing, it is one of the most affordable, solid session whiskeys on the market, and one of the few available in the half gallon (1.75) size where you really are getting a lot for your money. Normally associated with budget, low-quality whiskeys, I’m happy to see a trend of higher quality bourbons being offered in the “handle” format. The day I’m able to go by a full gallon bottle (“double-handle???” I coined it first!) of some of my favorite bourbons, please let me know, but I sure hope it comes with a tap for easy pouring.
Buffalo Trace is made with the distillery’s Mash Bill #1 (the low rye bill, 10% or less). For comparison, brands like Blanton’s and Elmer T. Lee use the Mash Bill #2 with a higher rye content. I really don’t have a preference in this matter, just happy for the variety.
Smelling a Buffalo Trace Distillery bourbon is always a delight, they simply kill it on the awesome nose front, and Buffalo Trace brand is no different. It smells GREAT. It probably smells better than it tastes, and it tastes pretty darn good. I’m getting lots of those cereal grains we love–corn, rye, and to a lesser extent wheat–a little vanilla and toffee, and some nice light apple, raspberry, and oak. At 90 proof, the alcohol fumes are very subtle and you can tell this is going to be a smooth, easy to drink whiskey. Taste is buttery, almost OILY campfire smoke (but not super intense smokiness), brown sugar and vanilla but very well balanced, not too sweet. Finishes long, dry, and spicy, just what the doctor ordered…if the doctor was an alcoholic.
This goes into my favorite category: SOLID SESSION WHISKEY. Value-wise it’s hard to beat Buffalo Trace, and this is a lot easier to drink all night than my other two favorite value-premium bourbons, Evan Williams Single Barrel and Elijah Craig 12 Year. It’s a tad bit cheaper too, especially if you buy it in the half gallon! I would, have, and do drink this bourbon on the regular. I wrote this post in four separate sessions (attention span fail), and I was drinking it every time, and I’m drinking it RIGHT NOW. I’ll probably drink it tomorrow too…
Rating: 8.7 / 10
Bought at J’s Bottle Shop in Athens, GA for $41.99 (1.75L Bottle)