Best Buy Booze: Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey


October 17, 2011 — Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Buffalo Trace is, in our opinion, an under-appreciated bourbon. That’s not to say that it’s underrated — it’s one of the best rated bourbons in the country, including an entry in the Whiskey Bible. No, what we mean is that while other brands tend to get the glory and fame, there’s Buffalo Trace, constantly plugging along down in Kentucky, making some of the finest bourbon you can find. And not only that, it’s some of the most affordable bourbon you can pick up, averaging $25 for a 750 ml bottle.

Some history of the Buffalo Trace distillery:

As the mighty buffalo thundered across the land, they carved paths in the wilderness and a destiny for our ancestors. These paths, known as traces, were soon marked with the footprints of adventurers, explorers and pioneers as they made their journey to the west.

One such trace, called the Great Buffalo Trace, led to the rugged banks of what is now called the Kentucky River. It was here in Franklin County, just a short distance from Kentucky’s state capitol of today, that millions of buffalo found passage across the river in their move toward the Great Plains.

The migration of these herds left a rough wide clearing that would become a gateway to a new frontier that invited renowned explorers and pioneers, such as George Rogers Clark and legendary Daniel Boone, and countless settlers who pushed America westward more than 220 years ago.

The McAfee brothers made the first survey of the crossing site and the surrounding area in 1773. A settlement came into existence at the crossing in 1775, when brother Hancock and Willis Lee established their camp with a small company of men.

The group fought for survival in the unforgiving conditions of a fierce wilderness, but by 1789 the area held a thriving population.

Today the Buffalo Trace Distillery site encompasses 119 acres and 114 buildings. The George T. Stagg distillery was renamed Buffalo Trace in June 1999 and introduced its flagship bourbon, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, in August 1999. In addition to Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, the distillery has a history of other finely crafted, award-winning spirits, including Blanton’s, W.L Weller, Old Charter and Eagle Rare. The distillery has won more international awards since 1990 than any other North American distillery, earning more than 140 distinctions in national and international competitions including the 2005 “Distiller of the Year” award presented by Whisky Magazine.

Nose:

Beautiful, sweet and woody scent. Well balanced without the harsh alcohol burn on the end.

Neat:

Very smooth and well balanced. There’s no harsh afterburn. Distinct oaky flavor. An ideal bourbon — sweet and strong. Perfect to drink neat.

On the Rocks:

Excellent sweetness. On the rocks, just a little bit too smooth, but still a strong distinct flavor that will lend itself well to cocktails.

Cheers!

— Mark

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