NOSE The first whiff is pure bourbon and wine. The second sniff is corn, malty sweetness, spice and candied citrus. Letting it sit and open for a bit reveals notes of cocoa, currant heavy dried fruit and a sweet dry SweeTARTS like note.
PALATE Same story as above, the first sip is a blast of bourbon and grapy wine notes. The second coats the palate with rich corn, dried dark fruit, caramel, rye-like spice and vanilla taffy. After a few minutes lighter notes of wood, chocolate covered cherries and a light biscuity note appear.
FINISH Corny heavy and accompanied by bold notes of dusty spice, grape fruit leather and a dusty spice that slowly fades out with an herbal hint.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL Nicely balanced, carrying a medium body and a silken texture
EYE Medium caramel
NOSE Caramel, vanilla and citrus are the first aromas out of the bottle. Following that are some great notes of smoky char, oak, strawberry shortcake and a mild astringency that I usually find with high rye bourbons.
TASTE Caramel, oak, and vanilla start things out. This is one of the more woody bourbons I’ve had and it’s rather nice actually. Accompanying these main four is a very robust spice filled with paprika, pepper, and cinnamon. There’s some orange zest, light crisp fruit and cherries hanging out in there as well.
FEEL Smooth, easy and warming but a little dry. Dusty would be the right comparison.
FINISH That same slightly dry / dusty character follows through on the long woody finish with some caramel and citrus hitching a ride. Very consistent aftertaste as it fades on a long finish.
EYE Dark Amber
NOSE Cherries and rye come skipping out of the glass with caramel, some overripe dark fruit, buttery toffee, oak and a mild citrus drifting in behind them. It’s a very pleasant aroma.
TASTE On the palate the notes flip around a bit with the rye and wood leading the procession of dark fruit, caramel, citrus, cinnamon, leather and a hint of vanilla. Again, it’s very pleasant and being rather similar to the Four Roses Small Batch it’s hard not to like it.
FEEL More mellow than the regular offering it still has enough bite and texture to keep things interesting.
FINISH It has a long woody finish that is punctuated with notes of rye, pepper and caramel coffee syrup.
EYE Caramel with a bit of reddish gold
NOSE Buffalo Trace has a wonderful aroma filled with caramel, citrus peels, honey, cinnamon, brown sugar, marzipan and hints of oak and corn. The vanilla is a bit subdued, but when it appears it’s a nice surprise.
TASTE I’ve always been able to taste both the corn and rye in Buffalo Trace and I love it. Along with the corn and rye is a big dose of caramel followed by hints of toffee, burnt sugar (brulee), honey, cinnamon and pepper. There are some hints of dark fruit and, again, subdued vanilla and a nice oaky underpinning to the entire flavor.
FEEL As smooth and effortless as a 90 proof can be.
FINISH Long woody finish punctuated by caramel, toffee, under ripe citrus and vanilla.