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Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is the eponymous, flagship bourbon of the Buffalo Trace distillery of Frankfort, Kentucky. Owned by the Sazerac Company, the Buffalo Trace distillery is responsible for a wide range of excellent bourbons and ryes; brands using the same high corn mash bill as Buffalo Trace include Eagle Rare and George T. Stagg. Buffalo Trace is a “small batch” bourbon—a term that should be taken with a grain of salt in most cases, as it has no legal meaning—and though there is no age statement on the bottle, Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley claims it is aged for eight years or so.
The nose is rich and enticing. Consistent notes include caramel, vanilla, oak, rye, brown butter, nutmeg, and oatmeal. More fleeting notes include green apples, plums, cherries, oranges, honey, and anise.
Like the nose, the palate is again rich, with consistent notes of spicy rye, oak tannin, butterscotch, bananas, and nutmeg. Occasionally, a hint of cinnamon creeps in.
Eagle Rare 10 year-old Single Barrel, Buffalo Trace’s slightly older sibling, is a touch softer, smoother, and rounder. Yet, it would be a stretch to call it “better.” Both are remarkable bourbons, brimming with complexity—one younger and more feisty, the other older and more composed. It’s a great distillery that provides both—and a brilliant one that provides the George T. Stagg to boot!