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Buffalo Trace

A Brits trip to 1775 America

0 1481

@conorrobReview by @conorrob

3rd Oct 2013

0

  • Nose
    23
  • Taste
    20
  • Finish
    18
  • Balance
    20
  • Overall
    81

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

As an Englishman I am a big fan of the way a good Bourbon can take you away to a far off saloon in 1775 America. Sitting here in Essex I can almost imagine taking a last drink before heading off onto the American plains in pursuit of riches and glory. Scotch doesn't contain the promise of adventure as much as a good bourbon.

Nose: Butterscotch is the first thing I notice followed by a soft touch of vanilla and ever enticing oak. Instantly youth is noticeable, but rather than trying to be something its not this dram accepts that its not a wise experienced scotch and using its playful nature to its full advantage. A rich buttery afterthought comes to the fore and leaves me wanting to sniff away for hours.

Palate: Spicy oak with caramel and butterscotch make a fantastic match really complimenting the gentle warmth of the alcohol. I was expecting the alcohol to be unrefined and rough but instead I find the flavours well balanced, rich and thick.

Finish: Plum crumble with custard and a generous helping of sprinkled cinnamon springs to mind. A short finish lets it down slightly as I would have enjoyed spending more time with the fantastic mix of flavours.

Ok, objective achieved. I can almost see the last saloon, a bartender cleaning tumblers while the gunslingers on my left order another round. Unfortunately the finish takes me away from all the excitement far too quickly which is really disappointing.... but then I can always take another sip ;-D

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14 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

Poetic review...but in 1775 America there really weren't yet any cowboys or bourbons. The buffalos were definitely roaming the plains by the millions, though.

Most date the beginning of bourbon as around 1785-1790. They drank corn whiskey in the then American West, e.g. Kentucky, and rye whiskey, rum, and brandy in the East. Rye was the most popular American whiskey until Prohibition. And the purchase of Louisiana of 1803 was yet to bring the plains into the picture.

Please do make a point of trying many of the 25 or 30 other bourbons made at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. Drop by DC and you can sip most of them with me.

5 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

The House of Bourbon is rather interesting, in a mildly annoying sort of way. Here it is in all of its glory: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Bourbon.

I'm friends with a few Scottish people, and some of them prefer bourbon to scotch. How shocking! But true. I guess the grass is always greener.

The term bourbon wasn't really used until the mid-1800's, but I like your review very much. The spirit of your nostalgia for bourbon is contagious!

Personally, I wish corn mash whisky was called something else, other than "bourbon," but you can't win 'em all. As a "yank," I'm not a fan of royalty in general.

Hence the "rebel tradition" of bourbon distilling in America, and scotch distilling in Scotland. It would behoove us all to remember that our favorite liquors were developed and perfected by so-called "outlaws" who were really just hardworking folks who didn't pay attention to laws put in place by the ultra rich to tax and control the populations.

In the USA, believe it or not, the same British bankers had a hand in prohibition and the controlling of liquor sales both before and after prohibition as the bankers who kept an iron fist pressed down upon the Speyside region of Scotland and elsewhere. I would not be at all surprised if a few descendants of these same bankers now have controlling interests, ironically, in a great many distilleries in Scotland, which have increasingly been bought up by "multi-national" corporations.

Speaking of good bourbon . . . yesterday, I sipped a glass of Pappy Van Winkle 15 at a pub near my home. It was quite good, but believe it or not, I prefer scotch to bourbon, even a scotch of the caliber of a Pappy 15.

Thank you for the review, conorob. I wish you many good times in the future enjoying fine bourbon!

5 years ago 0

@conorrob
conorrob commented

Thanks for the comments! Sorry I think may need to brush up on my history a little haha. A good bourbon really floats my boat, Kopper Kettle from Belmont Farms distillery is one of my all time favourites despite its imperfections. If I am ever in DC I will definitely take you up on that Victor thank you. Next bottle I purchase will be another of their expressions as I am sure this one won't be around too long!

I suppose the grass IS always greener rigmorole ! For me Scotch is preferred but I just don't get the same sense of adventure as I do from Bourbon. Sounds stupid but I enjoy where a Whisky/ey takes me as much as I do the taste.

Gun slingers, prohibition and gangsters.. America has an extraordinary history in regards to its relationship with alcohol and the history makes the experience of drinking whiskey all the more fulfilling.

It all depends on the location for me, if I am at home writing or in front of the TV I would choose an older scotch. Whereas if I were camping or with friends I can think of nothing better than a Bourbon.

I am sure there will be! Thank you both for your comments! If you ever find yourself spending time in London drop me a line and I would be more than happy to give you a tour of the local pubs which specialise in English cask ale (pretty fantastic) and a few drams of the good stuff from my modest cabinet!

5 years ago 0

@conorrob
conorrob commented

On an off note are there any other American distilleries I should be looking into?

5 years ago 0

@JeffC
JeffC commented

Yes the grass is greener and I can only dream of the offshoots of some major Scotch labels that never make it out of the UK. As often as I've seen Kopper Kettle on the shelves of the state run stores in Virginia, I've never felt adventuresome enough to pick it up but I may try it soon. Fortunately cask ales are becoming quite available here too.

5 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Yes certainly I can offer some of my favorites these days. I just tasted Pappy Van Winkles 15 for the first time a few days ago. Top notch scotch. I've owned a bottle of the PVW 20 and while it was more complex not all of the flavors were entirely welcome (I got hints of model airplane glue on the palate, for example). The 15 is simply superb all around and will never disappoint even the pickiest bourbon drinkers.

Other more obtainable favorites include: Elmer T Lee Straight; Bookers (which is a little like a scotch but not quite); Four Roses Limited Edition Single Barrel; Rowan's Creek; Bernheim Wheat Whisky (like PVW, it uses wheat with the corn, however it's much more humble and simple than PVW, which is worth a high price tag in a pub if you can get your hands on a glass); Bulleit 95 Rye; Elijah Craig 12 (easy to find but quite good); Rittenhouse Rye (inexpensive great mixer); Mellow Corn (nice bottle to take camping because it's solidly made but quite inexpensive and great as a mixer); Eagle Rare 10 & 17 (both these are Buffalo Trace whiskies. The 17 is heavenly and the 10 is decent). As for blended whisky, I like the Great King Street and the Hibiki.

5 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

I meant to say "top notch bourbon." Not sure why I said "scotch" when describing the PVW. Freudian slip?

5 years ago 0

@conorrob
conorrob commented

@JeffC glad to hear its making an impression over there! Kopper Kettle itself is almost unobtainable here but fortunately I have a friend in DC who brings me back a bottle once a year. As I said its not amazing but its certainly special. @rigmorole the Pappy 15 sounds good just ordered a bottle and the Eagle 17 ... Thank you for your advice its much appreciated. Unfortunately Whisky buffs here tend to specialise in Scotch and blends so its hard to find reliable information. Haha it could well be sir !!

5 years ago 0

@conorrob
conorrob commented

Scrap that - only managed to find the Pappy 15 the Eagle 17 is all sold out ! What a shame!

5 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

I'm impressed you managed to get the Pappy's 15. It's very hard to come by. I can only get one bottle once a year in Nov or Dec, and that's including pestering the liquor store to find out when the shipment will come in. Last year, I waited outside for an hour in my PJ's to get a bottle (rushed over straight out of bed when I found out the shipment came in). It's very rare in Portland Oregon.

5 years ago 0

@conorrob
conorrob commented

A friend of mine manages a small Wine shop near me and tends to be able to source most things given a bit of time. Unfortunately for me I had no chance with the Eagle she said her supply ran out months ago :-( might just get the Eagle 10 and see what thats like.

5 years ago 0

@conorrob
conorrob commented

haha that is real commitment! I'm guessing it was worth the wait though ! Can't wait to get my hands on it, should be two weeks!

5 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

2010 was the hay day for Pappy's. It's gone down hill slightly since then, but not too much. For some reason, 2008-2010 was extra magical. Be this as it may, it deserves the hype it still gets. I think you will very much enjoy your purchase. Well done, buddy. Let us know how you like it.

5 years ago 0

@conorrob
conorrob commented

Pappy 15 has arrived - Will be reviewing this afternoon !!

5 years ago 0

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