[Review] Eagle Rare - 10 years old 45%

Since I started my whisky journey about 6 years ago, my main focus has been Scotch. I have of course ventured out of Scotland with some Irish, French or Asian whiskies but I could still explore further. America is another one I need to spend more time with, being Bourbon, American whisky, rye, Tennessee or any other variants. I think I have managed to try most of the 'entry' bottles so far from Woodford, to Makers, to Jack Daniels, to Rittenhouse, Wild Turkey or Buffalo Trace. I have also pushed a little further with Blanton's Gold, Few Rye and some Balcones, but there is definitely a long way still to go.

Today, I am still on a more 'everyday' Bourbon, with Eagle Rare 10 years old, 45%, from the Buffalo Trace distillery. Compared with the standard bottle of Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare has been aged for at least 10 years. Both product come from the same mash bill #1 which is low in rye (less than 10%) with potentially a small amount of malted barley (around 5% from what I read online) and so about 85% corn, giving it quite a fruity, sweet and less spicy profile.

Eagle Rare is a Bourbon that many have recommended I buy so here are my thoughts about it!

Still relatively affordable at around £36 in the UK (aim for £30 on offer), bottled at 45% and quite dark in colour.

Nose: No surprise with the vanilla and the toffee, quite a bit of oak, some maple syrup, a little rye spice, parma violet, a mix of cinnamon and ginger, some char notes, nutmeg and nutty elements too. hints of cherry. A good start for me!

Palate: Sweet and chewy, caramel, vanilla, cherries, buttery, woody, toasted oak, fruity notes too with orange and banana, some nutmeg, quite drying, dark bitter chocolate after a few seconds

Finish: Drying again, oak wood, some spicy honey, slight nuttiness, hints of pepper, dark, bitter chocolate, still with a little toffee, some minty notes kicking around as well!

With water: I do not tend to add any water to bourbon but let's try, for science! The nose is a little less oaky and spicy. It is sweeter, fruitier and more buttery. The palate gets more fruit and some mint. The finish is slightly less drying, with more mint and cream. I actually really like it with a drop of water!

Overall, this is a solid Bourbon to go to, especially if you've already explored most of the basics. I wish I still had some standard Buffalo Trace to compare both and see whether it is worth paying the premium for Eagle Rare... But I think as far as I am concerned, Wild Turkey 101 and Jack Daniels single barrel are two cheaper bottles hard to beat!


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