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Nose: This is the main mash-bill that's used in most of the Buffalo Trace bourbons (i.e Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, George T. Stagg), although different to the rye mash used for the Sazerac rye expressions or the wheated mash-bill used for the William Larue Weller. With corn being therefore the main ingredient in this bourbon new-make, it's no surprise then that sweetcorn and buttered popcorn are the first notes to leap out upon nosing. There is a faint vegetal quality with freshly picked mushrooms, and a refreshing twist of cocktail cherries, peach schnapps and cucumber all mingling together with untamed abandon. Cereal notes of Special K and marzipan also come through, rounding off what is an intriguingly raw yet inviting nose.
Taste: With no wood influence to tame and refine it, the corn is left to run wild. One can't help but be charmed by its exuberance though. There is a richer element to the palate than what was found on the nose, with butterscotch, nut brittle, and hazelnut nutella really wooing the sweet-tooth in us all. Even the cereal notes have been put through a glucose filter, with the Special K from the nose now covered in sugar. The cocktail cherry on top at the end completes this rich dessert of a mouthful.
Finish: More richness, more sweets, more fruit. Werther's Originals (hard caramel sweets), candy apples covered in nutella, peaches swimming in sweet butter, only a sprinkling of spearmint offers an escape from this sugar avalanche.
Balance: Like any human infant, this bourbon new-make spirit has as sweet a tooth as you're likely to come across. It is far richer than any scotch single malted barley new make, and thus also less "schnappsy". Although there is in fact also a small amount of barley in this mash-bill, as well as some rye, you can really see how much the sweetness of the corn dictates the flavour profile. Only as it ages in the barrel and the oak infuses its character into the spirit, will we see the more mature vegetal notes, along with the tobacco and the leather, come to the fore and create the more complex and expressive bourbons that we've come to love, such as the Eagle Rare and George T. Stagg.