Buffalo Trace Single Barrel (Store Pick)
There is something unique coming from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in the form of single barrel offerings selected from their batched products–in today’s example, it’s Buffalo Trace Bourbon. While this product doesn’t exist in as a single barrel expression on shelves, it is available for selection in their single barrel program. Today we’ll look at a single barrel as selected by Damon’s Beverage in Maine.
The historic grounds of the Buffalo Trace Distillery are so entrenched in Bourbon history, as well as American history, that it would be difficult to determine exactly where one stops and the other begins. The distillery’s namesake bourbon brand shares these deep roots by paying homage to the mighty buffalo in both
One of the more iconic images you’ll see in cruising social media is the Buffalo Trace Water Tower (below).
Bourbon, as a spirits category, really tends to lean into the lore and history behind each label. In all honesty I think this can add to a brands authenticity (when done properly) and Buffalo Trace Distillery pulls it off with their bit about this expression. Here is a bit of the story from the Buffalo Trace website:
Ancient buffalo carved paths through the wilderness that led American pioneers and explorers to new frontiers. One such trail led to the banks of the Kentucky River where Buffalo Trace Distillery has been making bourbon whiskey the same way for more than 200 years. In tribute to the mighty buffalo and the rugged, independent spirit of the pioneers who followed them, we created our signature Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
History behind the brand and distillery is great, but I’m itching to pour some whiskey and discuss what is in the bottle. Let’s go!
Nose – Rich and fruity. This really reminds me of John J. Bowman in some ways. There’s a bunch of ripe fruit right up front, backed up by a solid structure of oak and caramel. Very little ethanol…this is easy on the nose.
Taste – Soft and sweet caramel rolls through with a heavy background of fruit. There’s some background vanilla that mixes in here with oak. Not incredibly complex, but it’s tasty in it’s simplicity. The ethanol is so well-behaved you’d almost forget it’s there. This is extremely approachable, nearing upon being called a guzzler.
Finish – On the longer side of medium. While there’s only the slightest “Kentucky Hug” with this single barrel offering, the sweet fruity flavors do a great job of clinging to the palate and sharing space with oak and a tiny hint of spice on the back.
Bourbon Finder Grade: B
If you’re looking to build up a portfolio of single barrel selections, or you’d just like to have a few lower-proof options on your bar, I think you could do a hell of a lot worse than a Buffalo Trace Single Barrel Bourbon.
This barrel was aged seven and a half years which really seems like it hits a sweet spot (pun intended). All in all I think the value is there, and the flavor backs this one up. A nice selection by Damon’s Beverage. I’ll be looking out for the next offering to come through their door.
Our grading system: As mentioned in our About Us page, we’re excited to share bourbon with our friends, family, and readers. There are enough critics, cynics, and curmudgeons in the whiskey world as it is, so our goal is to foster the bourbon community in a positive way by bringing fun and entertaining content whenever possible–as such–we decided that applying precise scores to whiskey was simply too serious for us (and didn’t accurately showcase variability in taste from day to day). We use a simple grade school system to apply a grade to the whiskeys we review because we feel it is indicative of the whiskey’s grade for us on that particular day. A grade of a “B” today may very well be a “B+” or even a “B-” on another day, so rather than focusing on a precise score today that may not stand the test of time, we are just sharing our overall grade of that pour for that one tasting. Pour a bit and enjoy, friends, these are the good old days of whiskey!