Tasting Notes: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection

Proof of a higher proof


When the temperature drops there’s nothing quite like a little liquid fire to keep you warm. If ruckus is your beverage of choice, there’s no better time to hit your local shop and pick yourself up a bottle from the limited release of Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection. We spent some time reviewing enjoying the much-anticipated, highly rated, and even more highly sought collection of five whiskeys for the latest edition of Tasting Notes.

George T. Stagg


This writer’s personal favorite and last year’s “Bourbon of the Year” award from Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, the 2010 George T. Stagg is an uncut, unfiltered bourbon distilled back in ’93. This beast spits a robust 143 proof fire of flavor. Warm dark chocolate, vanilla and coffee. Don’t be frightened by the proof — in Stagg, the 143 is far smoother than less whiskeys half its strength.

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old


Previous “World Whisky of the Year” award winner from the 2009 Whisky Bible made this past year a great one for the Sazerac Rye. As such, there’s no question that expectations are high with the 2010 release. The 2010 vintage has a crisp spice, minty sweetness and a pleasant oakiness. 90 proof.

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old


Not to be the left empty-handed at the award ceremonies, the Eagle Rare 17 Year Old previously received a 96 rating from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Distilled in ’93 this 90 proof bourbon has a fine, woody flavor with notes of vanilla, tobacco and leather, making it a great compliment to your favorite cigar.

William Larue Weller


The Whisky Bible’s Third Finest Whiskey in the World for 2011 and the best bourbon in the world by F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal. William Larue Weller is the Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheat-recipe bourbon. This 126.6 proof, 12-year-old bourbon offers up a taste of caramel corn, pipe tobacco, and light toffee.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac


Mr. Handy bested big brother Bill Weller by a notch and was named the Second Finest Whiskey in the World by the Whisky Bible. The Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye is an uncut and unfiltered straight rye whisky complex and great under the nose, this 126.9 rye whisky cuts nicely with purified water and offers tastes of honey, cinnamon, and spice.

Nearly 10 years since its introduction, the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection has garnered international reputation and the respect of the whisky world with an arsenal of hardware to back it up. Supply is limited for spirits in the Antique Collection and typically sell out quickly. And in case the proofs aren’t clear enough remember that these whiskeys are cask strength, so a double pour equals four. Time to light a fire.

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