[Review] Buffalo Trace - Kentucky Straight Bourbon 40%

A few posts ago, I reviewed my first bourbon, the Woodford Reserve distiller's select. As I mentioned then, American whisky wasn't something I drunk too much of, purely because of the image I had of it. Then came Balcones True Blue during a tasting and Woodford, my first purchase. Since then, I decided to try others. I am doing with bourbon what I have done with scotch: I start with less expensive and readily available bottles, generally purchased at a local supermarket, before going further up in the range, or not... So after Woodford, I got a bottle of Maker's Mark (which I will review in a coming post) which in my mind isn't as good as Woodford. Talking to some of the guys at the Whisky shop, they suggested Buffalo Trace and last week, I came across an offer on the bottle so decided to give it a go for £18. 
Buffalo Trace is one of the biggest bourbon producer, with many brands such as Eagle Rare, Blanton's, Col. E. H. Taylor, George T. Stagg or Pappy Van Winkle. Buffalo Trace have also got an "Experimental collection", a range of small batches with which they have experimented (different mash bills, types of wood, barrel toasts...). But let's get back to my bottle, the standard edition.


Unlike Woodford bottled at 43% or Maker's at 45%, Buffalo Trace is bottled at 40%. Once again, as it's a bourbon, it has to be natural colour and it's another lovely amber spirit. There is no age statement on the bottle but looking on different website online, it seems that the whisky could be between 7 and 9 years old (1).

Nose: Buttery, rich and sweet, cherries, chocolate, vanilla and spices, custard, toffee, banana and hints of citrus

Palate: Fruity and sweet, brown sugar, raisins, toffee and cherries, figs and chocolate, blackberries.

Finish: Cinnamon, cherries again, vanilla, very pleasant!

With water: Strangely, I find that water makes the bourbon less creamy and spicier on the nose. The vanilla is more present however. It is smoother on the palate, creamy with lots of vanilla and toffee. Rich spicy and fruity finish.

It is definitely a very good dram, sweeter than Woodford in my mind but both are worth trying. I personaly prefer Buffalo Trace without water as I get more flavour and being already 40% ABV, I don't feel the need to add anything to it. My next move will now have to be Eagle Rare 10 years old to see how it compares to the standard Buffalo Trace. 




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