The Buffalo Trace review
Company: Buffalo Trace
Classification: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Breakdown: Undisclosed other than that it is the Buffalo Trace mash bill #1
Price: c. £23
Buffalo Trace bourbon is, unsurprisingly, made at the world famous Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky, USA. It is the oldest continuously operating distillery in America, a national historic landmark and it is allegedly also the world’s most awarding winning distillery! What cannot be disputed is the sheer output of liquor - 10 million litres of whiskey per year, over 40 different products ranging from straight, rye and wheated bourbon to rye whiskies and even a vodka (Wheatley). It also uses 1.5 million gallons of water a day to keep up with this production demand!
For all bourbon lovers, the famous names produced here just roll off the tongue, George T Stagg, Eagle Rare, WL Weller, Blantons, Elmer T Lee, Sazerac Rye and Pappy Van Winkle. If the Gents could name a distillery anywhere in the world where we would want to get locked in overnight, I think this would be our preference.
Buffalo Trace bourbon itself has been around since 1999 and the surprising facts for us when researching the spirit were that for such low price bourbon, it is only blended from between 25-30 barrels and aged between 7-9 years. Another surprise was that the US version is bottled at 45% ABV whereas the version available in the UK is at 40% ABV (We think that is correct, if you’re better at googling than us, please let us know).
For this review we drank it neat in a Glencairn glass
What we got - Sweet, oak/wood, caramel, raisins. Citrus, lemon (Mr Pie) burnt orange peel (Mav), toffee apple
What they say we should get - Complex aroma of vanilla, mint and molasses
What we got - Wood, burnt wood but not at all harsh and it gives way to a sweetness with a hint of coffee (Mav)
What they say we should get - Pleasantly sweet to the taste with notes of brown sugar and spice that give way to oak, toffee, dark fruit and anise
What we got – very smooth, medium, but gives an awful lot back for a low ABV
What they say we should get - long and smooth with serious depth
There is something strange about this bourbon from a UK perspective (not in a bad way), it is just so readily available it could be taken a little for granted. It is in almost every UK supermarket and a large percentage of public houses, no bourbon drinker can be taken seriously if this bottle is not on your shelf.
Buffalo Trace joins our ever increasing list of everyday sippers. It is our recommendation this be enjoyed neat, without ice or water – so pour yourself a measure or two, sit back, relax, and revel in what an exceptional value for money bourbon you have in your hand.
As mentioned in our podcast (episode 8), we said we would report in this review the cost of this bourbon in the US. It seems to be a similar price to the UK, approximately £22, but of course you should bear in mind that in the US it is sold in a 750ml bottle and the ABV is higher at 45%.
Our tasting notes did not compare one to one with those on the Buffalo Trace website - vanilla and mint were missing for us on the nose and we found the finish to be medium. However we can all agree the finish is most definitely smooth with serious depth.
7 out of 10 – Mav
6 out of 10 – Mr. Pie