Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
Hancock's President's Reserve is one of four Single Barrel products produced at Buffalo Trace Distillery, along with Blanton's, Elmer T. Lee, and Rock Hill Farms. I had a very delicious sample of Hancock's Reserve at a restaurant and so purchased a bottle when I found one for sale. In my area this is the scarcest to find of the four Buffalo Trace Single Barrel products.
There is no age statement or barrel number on the bottle. Most online speculation is that the age is approximately 8 years. The reviewed bottle has been open approximately 5 months.
Colour: deep caramel
Nose: rich sweet deep maple, with hints of chocolate, grapes, and plums. Strong vanilla and some caramel. Spice becomes strongly apparent in the nose after the whiskey has set in the glass for 20 minutes. A little water makes the nose far more intense and penetrating.
Taste: When the bottle was first opened, the flavours were locked up and disappointing. After two months the flavours blossomed and gelled. After two months: the first impression is that rich, lush, sweet maple thickly coats the mouth. There is very strong spicing from both rye and wood, but it creeps up quite deceptively after the first two or three tastes. The strong spicing keeps the strong sweetness in balance. The fruit flavours and chocolate notes from the nose are also present on the palate. As with the nose, a little water makes the flavours richer still and more penetrating.
Finish: the flavours stay strong for a long time and diminish slowly together, becoming rather dry and slightly sour into the finish.
Balance: I obtained the flavours I had remembered from my restaurant sample only after the bottle had been opened at least two months. This is quite a sweet bourbon with a lush style. Hancock's President's Reserve reminds me a good bit of my favourite Canadian whisky, Wiser's Legacy, though it is for me not quite Legacy's equal.
If you like the flavours described above, this is quite an excellent choice, assuming you are willing to wait for it to open up, as it may require. Hancock's President's Reserve is my personal favourite among the four Buffalo Trace Single Barrel products.