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Ancient Age Bottled In Bond

Premium Version of Starter Bourbon

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@VictorReview by @Victor

9th May 2012


Ancient Age Bottled In Bond
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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The Buffalo Trace distillery produces many different bourbons, in varying ages, mashbills, alcohol content, yeasts, and degrees of barrel selection. The current reviewed Ancient Age Bottled in Bond is one of the less expensive of the Buffalo Trace products, but is nevertheless very scarce and difficult to find.

Ancient Age 40% is one of Buffalo Trace's mass market bourbons, and, at 80 proof/40% ABV, is dilute and frequently intended for ice, water, and mixers. Buffalo Trace also produces both a 90 proof/45% ABV Ancient Age, and this 100 proof/50% Bottled in Bond Ancient Age. "Bottled in Bond" requires, among other things, 4 years of aging, 50% ABV, and distillate produced in batches originating in a single year of production. Both the 45% and the Bottled in Bond versions are not sold in volume anywhere approaching that of the 40% "standard" Ancient Age Bourbon.

I was sold this bottle 2 1/2 years ago by a whiskey specialist on his recommendation. The bottle is currently 1/2 full. Observed changes in this whiskey over 2 1/2 years have been very slight.

Colour: medium caramel, 60th percentile darkness for bourbons, I would say.

Nose: Strong and beautiful. Sweet. Lots of vanilla, wood spice, and rye spice. Slight alcohol and caramel. A very good bourbon nose.

Taste: Very spicy, very sweet, but with a very good dry balance. All of the flavours of both wood and grain are good here. At 2 1/2 years after the bottle was opened the flavours are as tangy as they were on Day One. Compared to standard Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Ancient Ancient Age 10 yo, Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star, and Eagle Rare 10 yo Single Barrel, I would describe the flavours as very aggressive. Aggressively good.

Finish: stays the course very strong and very long...sweet and spicy.

Balance: Ancient Age Bottled In Bond is really a great standard bourbon. The flavours are strong, delicious, and balanced. Sweet and dry are balanced finely, as though on a knife's edge. Beautiful.

It is a pity that Ancient Age BIB is very hard to find, even in the USA. I have never seen it offered for sale at any place or time other than the day on which I bought it.

Jim Murray in his 2012 Whisky Bible rated AA 40% ABV at 74.5, AA 45% ABV at 86.5, and this AA Bonded at 92. There REALLY IS that much difference.

Try some if you get the chance.

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Victor commented

@JeffC, you asked me about Ancient Age Bottled in Bond...I am on a current quest to locate more of this juice. It is looking pretty scarce to find. My niece just made in person visits to several Kentucky liquor stores for me and could not locate any at all. Ancient Age Bottled in Bond is good enough to perhaps be my favourite "everyday bourbon". In its absence for "everyday use" I would currently choose Ancient Ancient Age 10 Years Old, Old Grand-Dad 114, Old Weller Antique 107, Elmer T. Lee, or Eagle Rare 10.

11 years ago 0