Color: medium-dark amber
Nose: campfire, cinnamon, vanilla
Taste: brown sugar, vanilla, dried stone fruit, spices
Finish: warm & smooth
Value: Excellent bang for the buck.
Ok, since the professionals in San Francisco and myself came to the conclusion that Buffalo Trace is *THE* bottle of whiskey you should have in your liquor cabinet, I’ve discovered quite a few more bourbons. So, is it still The Bottle of Whiskey You Should Have in Your Liquor Cabinet?
Let’s find out!
First, my standard “let’s not mince words” proclamation: Damn, but this bourbon is good!
Ever wonder what bourbon should REALLY taste like? I mean seriously, have you sat back and thought… “When the American Pioneers of the 1700s started making corn-based whiskey in charred oak barrels, what did they have in mind for a flavor profile?” If you ever have wondered that, I’d have to imagine that Buffalo Trace Straight is pretty frikkin’ close to what they wanted.
Damn, but this bourbon is good!
Barrel notes come romping across your nose and palate. Mellow sweetness of molasses or melted brown sugar pairs with toasty oak and makes your brain halt while your mouth smiles. The “whiskey burn” you expect from something this flavorful never really appears. A mild burn hits the back of throat, but the rest is pure warmth.
After a healthy sniff of Buffalo Trace Straight, take a long sip and let it rest on your tongue. Pause and ponder as the bourbon literally changes its flavor profile in your mouth. Charcoal and spice melts away to corn syrup and vanilla. No, I’m not kidding you. This is one of the more complex bourbons you’ll encounter.
Buffalo Trace is a high-rye-content bourbon. Not high enough to combat the corn for primary grain status, but high enough that you’ll taste that familiar peppery twinge. And yes, that’s a really good thing.
I am comfortable enough in my adoration of Buffalo Trace Straight that I could grab the bottle, a heavy glass tumbler, and my favorite chair… and spend an evening just so.
I used to love Knob Creek. I mean Unhealthy-Obsession-Kind-Of love. And while I still like that bourbon, it’s not the pinnacle any more. But, neither is Buffalo Trace. As much as I love this stuff, it’s not the Be-All/End-All of Old Bourbon Terroir. Don’t get me wrong, this stuff is great, but there are two or three out there that are better (and more expensive).
Having said that, does Buffalo Trace still hold its mantle as “Best Bourbon at $25 or Less”? No. But then, its price has actually DROPPED! You can now get the stuff stateside for as little as $20 a bottle!!
So, it is now safe to proclaim:
“Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon is the Best Bourbon at $22 or Less”!!
Can you mix Buffalo Trace Straight? Heck yeah! It’s great in:
- The Black Bourbon
- The Manhattan
- The Revolver
- The Chapel Hill
- The Kentucky Corpse Reviver
- The Devereaux
- The Whiskey Sour
…and many more. This is a versatile bourbon that plays well with others yet stands tall on its own.
Final Rating: 92 out of 100
P.S.: My apologies to my European counterparts. I understand you can’t get Buffalo Trace yet. That is a crime against humanity.