Seems a touch drier and more lean or ascetic than previous bottlings
Notes:This whiskey is produced at the scenic Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort (close to Woodford Reserve Distillery if you are touring) home of numerous other whiskies such as Ancient Age, Ancient Ancient Age, Eagle Rare 10 year-old, Blanton’s, Rock Hill Farms, Hancock Reserve, Elmer T. Lee and their Wheated Bourbon Series; W. L. Weller Special Reserve,andW. L. Weller 12. (See our Adventure Section for a tour of the distillery). This is a small batch bourbon, part of the antique series. This has been stored in “Warehouse Q,” one of the older, more temperate warehouses at Buffalo Trace.
Appearance: Deep bronze gold in the bottle, shows its age quite well. Seems a touch more yellow (as opposed to red) then bottlings of previous years. Beautiful clarity, shines like a burnished pool of Russian gold. On swirling, it leaves a thicker coating on the glass and has more legs and heavier body than George T. Stagg or Buffalo Trace Bourbon.
First Impression: Dry, with hints of corn sweetness, leather, and rye lurking in the background. On more warming: char, oak, toffee, some spiciness, grain and a faint trace of hazelnuts.
Taste: Dry start, like a old dry sherry at first, medium mouth feel, somewhat like a XO cognac, whispers down the throat and then leaves a rather delicate warming considering the 90 proof almost ethereal in nature, but unlike a lot of older bourbon still has a lot of life left to it.
A lot of oak and spice with traces of sweetness. Most bourbons don’t stand up to age well, they have a very turbulent ride to adolescence in new fresh charred barrels and dramatic temperature swings hence intense respiration in the barrel which leads to a very rapid aging compared to the sedate pace of other spirits many of which use recycled barrels.
A lot of times bourbon whiskey at this age becomes intensely oaky and not much else, thankfully that is not the case with this whiskey, and it stood up well and is a testament to the distillers art.
Drinks: Snifter only, no water! Too delicate and aromatic to stand up to much mixing for most bourbon drinks, use something heavier and beefier to mix with. Good with a light-bodied cigar.
Cigars: Works well with a mild cigar. Fuente Short Story or similar with Natural, Conneticut Shade or other lighter shades of wrapper so as not to overwhelm the bourbon.
Final Thoughts: A wonderful, delicate expression of a bourbon. Seems a touch drier and more lean or ascetic than previous bottlings.
Bottle: Same bottle as all the antique series, labels are of course somewhat different. The long, thin, clear glass, and small labels show off the color of the whiskey to good effect. The clear glass bottom lends a nice visual effect and give the bottle a decanter type feel and weight .
Colonial script is silk-screened on the bottle and a small paper label near the bottom has an age statement and relevant dates. A printed rectangular label on the back has a piece that would be much better suited to a hang tag or shelf talker so you could see the whiskey more, otherwise you have to hold the bottle sidewise to see the color (or soak the damn thing off!).
Fast loading with a slightly annoying intro (no need for it). This however is followed by a display of all the bourbons they make (over 20, not counting overseas variations). Extensive information and good pictures of each one, with reviews and ratings by different people and organizations.