Whisky Connosr

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old, Spring 2015 Release

Heavy-Weight at 45% ABV

1 592

@VictorReview by @Victor

1st Mar 2016


Eagle Rare 17 Year Old, Spring 2015 Release
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Eagle Rare 17 years old is one of the five whiskeys from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. The reviewed bottle has been open for 12 days and is 80% full

Nose: deep, deep, sweet oak; very sweet with brown sugar, maple sugar, and caramel; vanilla. This is heavy on the bass and medium pitches, with some confectioner's sugar also present in the high range of pitches. There is also plenty of spicy influence from rye grain. Gorgeous. Water added bundles the flavours, raises the pitch, and emphasises crystalline sugar and maple. Beautiful with water. Score: 24/25

Taste: excellent translation of intense flavours to the mouth. The oak flavours prick the tongue. Water added bundles the flavours and adds nothing. Score: 23/25

Finish: intense and long finish, and a little more wood tannin at the end than I would prefer. Water dilutes the wood tannin intensity but makes the bourbon less interesting. Score: 22/25

Balance: excellent in the nose, very good thereafter. Score: 23/25

Total Sequential Score: 92 points

Strength: very strong flavours throughout. Score: 24/25

Quality: very good to excellent quality of flavours throughout. Score: 23.5/25

Variety: good to very good variety of flavours. Score: 21.5/25

Harmony: excellent in the nose, very good on the delivery, good on the finish. Score: 22.5/25

Total Non-Sequential Score: 91.5 points

Comment: 17 years in new charred oak barrels dumps an enormous amount of oak flavour into a whiskey. You get that in spades in Eagle Rare 17 Year Old, Spring 2015 Release. Eagle Rare 10 Years Old bears no resemblance whatsoever to this with respect to the wood influence

Eagle Rare 17 is often thought of as the neglected step-child of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, largely because it is bottled at 45% ABV, rather than at Barrel Strength. Interestingly, this step-child is reported to have the smallest release in number of bottles among the five 2015 BTAC whiskeys. This is delightful bourbon, but, nota bene, the wood influence is huge. Make no mistake: the flavours here are very very strong for 45% ABV whiskey

Related Eagle Rare reviews


paddockjudge commented

@Victor, thanks for an all too rare review of ER 17 YO. The strong oak influence interests me.

8 years ago 0

Victor commented

Having some of this Spring 2015 release Eagle Rare 17 yo 18 months after the initial review. It is still very nice, though the contrast in body is very great indeed between a 45% ABV bourbon like this one and a barrel-strength BTAC heavyweight, like Thomas H Handy Rye, George T. Stagg Bourbon, or William Larue Weller Bourbon.

6 years ago 0

Victor commented

There is good news for those who can get a taste of Eagle Rare 17 yo. Starting with the Fall 2018 release and moving forward, Eagle Rare 17 yo will be released at 101 proof/50.5% ABV, changed from the prior standard of 90 proof/45% ABV.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

Nozinan commented

Great, so it will become more desirable and less obtainable in the LCBO "fair" lottery

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

Victor commented

Here's a link to the 2018 BTAC stats:


Eagle Rare 17 yo is this year, for the Fall 2018 release, 18 years 4 months old. 45 barrels were selected for bottling, up from 36 last year. There was 89.5% evapouration/Angel's Share.

5 years ago 2Who liked this?