Buffalo Trace Review

Buffalo Trace

45% abv

Score:  88/100


Near the Northern end of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail (irrespective of the fact that it is no longer a part of the Trail, or the Kentucky Distillers Association, for that matter) sits one of the greatest North American distilleries in existence.  Buffalo Trace.  Responsible for the production of Sazerac, George T. Stagg and Eagle Rare (among others), Buffalo Trace is also responsible for production of…shock!…Buffalo Trace.

While I should confess outright that bourbon is not really my drink, there are a few I really do love, and I will generally keep a bottle or two kicking around for those occasional (but overwhelming) cravings.  As a rule though I’m usually partial to the more earthy nuances of single malts.  Bourbons seem more suited to those ‘need for sweet’ times for me.  Much like Canadian whiskies.  But putting aside any thoughts to my personal bent…I’m going to sing it from the rooftops here…Buffalo Trace is a helluva good drink.  And not just for a bourbon.

The nose is where this one really shines.  It truly does border on flawless, in an almost unbelievable highwire balancing act of rich spice and intoxicating fruits.  But…the devil is in the details, or so they say, right?  So…on to the details…

Nose:  Sweet peaches n’ cream corn.  Synthetic cherry and grape juice.  gorgeous balanced spice and vanillins leeched from the cask.  Sour JuJube candy notes.  Redolent in fruit.  Beautiful.  Really beautiful.

Palate:  Not quite reaching the highs attained on the nose.  Grape juice.  Spices and spices and spices.  Dusty oak notes.  Better to not let it sit on the tongue too long.  Just give it a few seconds to swish and dance around and swallow it fresh.

The nose alone bumps this up a notch or two.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

6 thoughts on “Buffalo Trace Review

  1. David

    Have you ever tried Booker’s small batch bourbon? I’m sipping my first ever dram if it now. The nose is phenomenal, and complex.

    It’s not a single malt, and it’s not supposed to be, and it is different in ways I’m not ready to describe, but this is really good!

    Shame though, now rather than lamenting that I won’t ever taste port Ellen and Brora (and greedy angels – or will I), I’ll have to add on stuff like pappy…

  2. Brian

    @david: right on re booker’s. it’s the first bourbon bottle i bought, and i then bought 3 more bourbons just to figure out if that nose was a one-off phenomenon or soe sort of typical bourbon nose. hint: it ain’t typical! going through fighting cock (6 y.o.); old grand dad 114; and wild turkey rare breed–and none of them comes close. so… my next bottle of bourbon will be–is the suspense killing you?–booker’s, no doubt about it. such a luxurious, even decadent experience…

  3. Brian

    update: since then, i’ve also bought elijah craig 12; knob creek single barrel; and evan williams single barrel (2005). STILL nothing to compare with the booker’s! will continue the journey with 3–and possibly 4–b’s of bourbon to close out the year and welcome 2016: booker’s (i HAVE to!); baker’s; and probably bulleit and/or buffalo trace… with four roses single barrel thrown in if the budget allows… 🙂

  4. Jess

    Just came across Stagg Jr. The more powerful cousin of Buffalo Trace, and the young sibling of George T.

    Powerful. I almost never need to add water to bourbon (not even Booker’s or George T.) but this one needs some taking. After a half hour in the glass it is even more flavourful and a little less hot. If you can find it…Catch it!


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