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Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection 12 Year Old Bourbon From Floor #1

BT Experiment!

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

3rd Jan 2020


Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection 12 Year Old Bourbon From Floor #1
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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The Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection is a series of bottlings grouped according to certain production methods, in order to isolate influences on particular whiskies (not unlike their Single Oak Project). This one is part of a group of three 12 yo 3 mo bourbons that matured on different floors. Unfortunately, I do not have the other two to properly compare. Other Experimental Collection bottlings have isolated wine finishes, char levels, etc. etc.

For this bottling, four barrels were filled on Nov 30 2001, matured on floor #1 for 12 years and 3 months, then bottled on Mar 12 2014. The label gives a lot of info on barrel type, staves, evaporation etc - I won't mention it all but let me know if you are curious and I will tell you. The Master Distiller's notes says "Bourbon aged on floor 1 has a delicate flavour that is subtly sweet with a very mild oak taste." Let's try it side-by-side with standard BT...

The colour is a medium amber. The first thing I get on the nose are the cherries - black cherries, maraschino cherries, cherry compote, you name it. Very fruity. Behind that we have lots of wood smoke, pencil shavings, dark chocolate, mint and oregano, not to mention generous lashings of toffee and vanilla. Water brings out more rye-grain notes. Noses like a good solid 12yo bourbon.

The palate seems more corn-forward while the cherries still remain. Mint and fennel with the usual oak/caramel/vanilla combo - with time we get overripe bananas and more spice (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg). Baked apple. Water adds a bit of a kick but not much else. Not big and bold but soft and fruity.

The finish is minty with cloves, a hint of pepper and more oak. This is a pleasure to drink - not enormously complex or hard-hitting like some other BTs you could name, but is well balanced with a lovely fruit-dominant profile. Side-by-side with standard Buffalo Trace, there isn't much comparison - both are excellent bourbons but the Experimental seems to have more rye influence. Good luck finding this one, though....

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Victor commented

@talexander thanks for your review.

These BT Experimentals are kind of fun. If you buy a full bottle, they tend to be on the expensive side. Then you have the situation in which you either don't like your expensively bought bottle or if you do like it you probably can't get any more of it. A good example of the transitory nature of life.

4 years ago 2Who liked this?

talexander commented

@Victor If anyone is interested, I bought this through the LCBO back in 2016 for $CAN95 (note it is 375ml). I hadn't opened it until now for this review.

4 years ago 0

Victor commented

Yes, $ 190 CAN for 750 ml in 2016 is certainly a premium price.

I bought a couple of BT Experimentals in about 2011-2012 for a similar equivalent price 5 years earlier than you bought yours, but wound up swapping them. My sister has a couple open at her house now, probably about the same release time as yours.

4 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

@talexander I still remember the experimental collection tasting you had at your place a few years ago. I was still learning about bourbon in those days...

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

paddockjudge commented

@Nozinan, I believe Jason Hambrey brought a six pack of Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection to that tasting.

4 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

@paddockjudge I may have lost count but he did bring a few... It was a good night...

4 years ago 0