Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Malt Mission 2009 #342

Buffalo Trace Bourbon
Buffalo Trace
Kentucky Straight
Bourbon Whiskey
45% abv


Continuing my week of American whiskey on the Malt Mission, and it seems the lads over at Caskstrength are on a similar kick.

I think it is safe to say that American whiskey is booming. Sure, the LCBO still carries more Irish than American, but when one cannot count on liquor control to represent the spirits market or cater to consumer demand(!). Since 2003, premium bourbon and American whiskey has seen huge increases domestically and worldwide, and in 2007 whiskey exports exceeded $1billion dollars for the first time which indicates that value has been added to a category that has for so long been under-appreciated and drowned in Coke.

Buffalo Trace has been a leader in this regard raising distribution of its award-winning straight bourbon as well as introducing antique (fine & rare) releases on an annual basis.

Buffalo Trace, as a brand, was introduced in 1999 and is produced at a distillery of the same name but that was previously known as O.F.C. Distillery or George T. Stagg Distillery. The distillery washbacks/fermeters are the largest in the industry and their website indicates that the best maturing casks are found in warehouses C, I and K, and only from the middle racks. This is a less common practice in Scotch whisky because in America more warehouses are climate controlled. In the case of Buffalo Trace, they pump steam into the warehouses during the winter months. They've been using this technique since 1886 and were the first to do so.


Lemon peels, apple sauce, red licorice and jelly beans with a richly vanilla-ed oakiness backing it all up.

More candied fruitiness, red licorice again, with the spice of rye and sweetness of corn in complex but pleasing balance.


A tasty sipping whiskey with great balance and approachability. And with a friendly price tag to boot.

Malt Mission #341
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Crash said...

Nice to see you addressing American whiskey, but I must correct you on the number of operating distilleries in Kentucky. There are 10, soon to be 11, not 9 as you stated in your review of the Ezra Brooks.

According to noted American whiskey authority, Charles Cowdery (, they are:

1. Beam Global -- three active whiskey distilleries, all in Kentucky.

2. Brown-Forman -- two active whiskey distilleries in Kentucky.

3. Sazerac -- two active whiskey distilleries in Kentucky (Buffalo Trace and Tom Moore)

4. Pernod Ricard -- one active whiskey distillery in Kentucky. (Wild Turkey)

5. Kirin -- one active whiskey distillery in Kentucky. (Four Roses)

6. Heaven Hill -- one active whiskey distillery in Kentucky.

7. Angostura -- one distillery currently being restored in Kentucky. (Charles Medley Distillers Kentucky)

For great information on American whiskey without the corporate slant, you should consult if you haven't already.

Anonymous said...

Buffalo Trace is a pretty good all around Bourbon. I keep a bottle in my cabinet. I use it as a mixer mostly, but it can be good neat.

If you liked the BT. I would try Eagle Rare, Knob Creek and Bakers. These are all my favorites, they are very clean and bring good balance and richness.

Matthew said...

This is my brother-in-law's favourite bourbon, and the LCBO in Ontario, Canada, sadly stopped carrying it last year.

Jed said...

My 4 year old says "it smells like stars, the moon and mommy's hair". Lovely stuff.