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My introduction to Bourbon was Woodford Reserve, which was a hard and harsh experience for a first timer, used to Japanese single malts and master blends (watch this space because WR is growing on me). I had wondered if Bourbon was possibly not my thing, but drinking a couple of Van Winkle Family reserves changed all that, and perhaps the rest is history! It's the sweetness, vanilla and toasty oak wood of Bourbon that has got under my skin, along with what my palate seems to find as a sweet vinous or Sauternes quality to some of the better ones.
Idling away in my local pub I noticed that they had Buffalo Trace. Having heard that it's probably the most highly rated Bourbon distillery, I thought I'd try it. And I ended up enjoying it so much I got myself a bottle.
Colour is clear golden amber turning light brown in the glass, light brown in the bottle.
Nose is not mind blowing. It's not as deep and rich and complex as WR, or more sophisticated Bourbons, but it's solid and balanced. Lovely oak, vanilla, toasty oak wood, slight white grape vinous, burnt sugar, caramel.
Taste is not hot at all. Very smooth and soft on the palate, very little burn at all. Toasted oak wood, spices, caramel, burnt sugar, and then vanilla. As it lingers in the mouth there's spice and a distinctive liquorice tang which lasts through the finish. Other more subtle notes in the finish include touch of butter. I'm not getting the mint which the tasting notes on the bottle include but maybe a hint of menthol.
This is a really nice soft, well balanced Bourbon which is easy drinking and delicate on the palate. that said the flavours do pack some depth with spices and liquorice, and a decent amount of vanilla. Not the longest finish but very decent for the price.
Right now this will be my go to everyday Bourbon and for the price it seems to be punching well above its weight.