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Buffalo Trace White Dog, Mash # 1

Corn!! At Last!!!

0 1085

@VictorReview by @Victor

26th Feb 2011


Buffalo Trace White Dog, Mash # 1
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

White Dog Mash #1 is the unaged version of the low rye formula bourbon mashbill used in Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, and George T. Stagg bourbons. Until recently, this was distributed only in Kentucky and as trade samples within the industry. The review sample is at the barrel proof of 125/62.5% ABV

Nose: Substantial corn, alcohol, faint spice

Taste: First, big, big, sweet corn flavour! Significant rye spice follows, but here the rye does not overwhelm or diminish the huge corn greeting. There is big alcohol noticeable here at 62.5% ABV, but the taste remains quite tolerable sipped neat. This is sweet and spicy with a balancing secondary sourness which is significant but inoffensive. As a big flavours devotee I find this quite delightful, though 'new-make' is not for everyone

Balance: For unaged spirit, there is a lot going on here. I have been looking for some time for the pure taste of corn in whiskey. I have found that it is very difficult to find because corn's flavour is delicate and easily overwhelmed by rye, wheat, or oak flavours. This low-rye Buffalo Trace mashbill probably has 10+/- 3-4% rye content. The rye content is quite noticeable here, but, happily, it does not mask or suppress the taste of corn which comes across strongly, deliciously, and sweetly in the first part of the delivery on the palate. The barrel proof strength has happily retained all of the flavours without dilution. I would not want it any other way. In summary I find this to be a very tasty, interesting, and educational spirit. This White Dog will now become my example of "This is what Corn tastes like" in my 3 hour, 25 sample experiential whisk(e)y seminar. I would also welcome a 90% Corn, 10% barley-malt unaged whiskey at barrel proof, if one should become available

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LeFrog commented

Really fascinating (90% corn)! Is this straight off the still as in completely un-aged?

13 years ago 0

jdcook commented

The more I read of your reviews @Victor, the more I want to get into these ryes and bourbons! All I have to do is convince my wife or win the lotto!

13 years ago 0

Victor commented

@LeFrog, yes, it is a completely "White" unaged "Dog". This is still an unaged bourbon and the Buffalo Trace mashbill definitely contains about 10% malted barley in addition to maybe 10-12% of rye, so it is not at 90% corn. What I like here is the full clear taste of corn which precedes the rye spice taking over. I would LIKE to taste some barrel proof unaged corn whisky of this quality without any rye present, when I get a chance. I have already seen that at least a couple of totally corn whiskeys exist, such as Balcones True Blue Corn Whiskey, made from 100% Blue Hopi (a native American tribe in the Southwest)Corn and sold at barrel proof of approximately 122.6%. Balcones opened within the past year or so in Waco, Texas. It sounds like they most likely must add commercial enzymes since they don't include malted barley in the mash. I look forward to tasting that one at some point as well, since the Buffalo Trace White Dog doesn't give a chance to see how LONG the corn flavours will persist into the 'finish'.

13 years ago 0

Victor commented

Comment on Finish, which I omitted in the review: the White Dog Mash #1 has a long strong finish retaining all of the flavours, but with the rye spice predominant. As with most unaged whiskies, you really have to like 'sour' a lot to enjoy the flavour here. Many will not like the tart sourness, but some 'Connosrs' will. Getting to know these young whiskeys is for me an education in both getting to know the grains and in getting to know the process of whisk(e)y-making, especially, how wood aging changes the newly distilled product.

13 years ago 0

AboutChoice commented

@Victor, yesterday I got the enjoyable opportunity to sip a bit of White Dog that appeared at a party. I thought the 2nd sip was much better than the 1st, and though it was tasty, sweet and smooth, it seems really a shelf below to the mason jars of moonshine that are brought to private events in West Virginia ... these are creamy, chewy, not spicy and softly sweet ... but still quite potent. But in all fairness, these are probably a different mash bill, and the abv varies.

BTW, were there not for logistics issues, I'd love to join one of your experimental whisk(e)y seminars. Maybe someday you might offer your seminar online, for which you would send us our required box of seminar materials :-)

12 years ago 0

talexander commented

Just got my bottle - review to follow!

11 years ago 0

cpstecroix commented

I just picked up a bottle of this myself, looking forward to the education , tasting it with the bourbons made from it...

11 years ago 0

SLOhops commented

I find the nose to be a combination of corn and sour dough bread. Upfront sweetness with definite rye spice on the end which lingers. Personally I struggle with sour nose notes, but as I drink it I find nuances the I appreciate more and more.

10 years ago 0

conorrob commented

On your recommendations I have just ordered a bottle of this for my cabinet. Thanks for the insight Victor

10 years ago 0

Victor commented

The Buffalo Trace "Mash Bill #1" from which this is made actually contains only about 8% rye mash, which is just about the lowest percentage rye content of any standard, i.e. rye-containing bourbon, on the market. Probably 95% of all bourbons are made with rye as the "flavoring grain". Most of the remainder use wheat instead of rye. Every now and then a four-grain bourbon is made with both wheat and rye, which to me usually clash...and that is why it is only occasionally tried. Most mid-range bourbons, such as the Jim Beam standard line, and Wild Turkey, contain about 15% rye in the mashbill. The low rye content no doubt makes it easier to get a good taste of the corn here, just as it is possible to taste the corn somewhat in the Buffalo Trace bourbon which White Dog Mashbill #1 becomes with aging. For me, the very strong flavours of new oak and rye almost always completely obscure the ability to taste the corn in a matured bourbon. Buffalo Trace uses Mash Bill #1 for many of its various bourbons, the differences being mostly related to the different strains of yeast used, the different amounts of barrel aging, and the different strengths at which the final products are sold.

There is also a Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #2, at about 15% rye content, from which other of the Buffalo Trace bourbons are made, including the Ancient Age and Ancient Ancient Age lines, Elmer T. Lee, and the Blanton's line.

10 years ago 0

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