Wonderful 17 year old bourbon.
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 Blanton’s, Rock Hill Farms, Hancock
Reserve, George T. Stagg, and Elmer T.Lee. (See our Adventure Section for a tour of the distillery). This is a small batch bourbon, part of the antique series.
Appearance: Deep red/gold in the bottle, shows its age quite well.Yourarely see this color in a whiskey as it denotes a great deal of maturityand aging.To see this color in a single malt scotch it would have to be a to older and about 4 – 10 x more expensive. It is a beautiful thing. 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, almost amontillado-like bouquet, leather, and on more warming: char, toffee, some spiciness, and a faint trace of marzipan.
Taste: Dry start, like a old dry sherry at first, medium mouth feel, somewhat like a XO cognac, whisper 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. 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.
Drinks: Snifter only, no water! Too delicate and aromatic to stand up to much mixing for most bourbon drinks, use something heavier and beefier tomix with. Good with a light bodied cigar.
Final Thoughts: A wonderful, delicate expression of a bourbon.
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 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.