PDA

View Full Version : A Buffalo Trace Barrel Tasting



wripvanwrinkle
04-02-2011, 13:56
One of my near and dear liquor stores decided to procure a barrel of Buffalo Trace. Late this week 3 barrel samples arrived. I was fortunate, and they invited me to provide my thoughts. I thought that I would share the experience. More so, I was hoping that some here might be able to answer some questions.

The samples came in pint style medicine bottles. Although I don’t recall the exact barrel numbers, they were sequentially numbered. Are these the numbers of the actual barrels? Or are they bottle identifiers of the sample bottles? I ask because I was curious that IF the barrels were sequential, does this indicate that they were filled around the same period of time?

I was prepared for the samples to be different; I just wasn’t prepared for them to be so different.

The first offered a higher sensation of rye and the nose seemed to be dominated by Anise. I really like that tingle of rye. I really don’t like black licorice.

The second was buttery, corny, with some baking spice. It reminded me of Old Charter. Although I would have gladly taken the rest of the bottle home with me, I don’t think that it was the sample that you would want to put your name on.

The third was traditional bourbon: vanilla, caramel, and baking spice. I was hoping that it would have the rye sensation of the first…but it did not. Oddly, the finish seemed to have cinnamon. Although I know that it is a commonly described tasting note, this was the first time that I have ever tasted cinnamon in bourbon.

I really enjoyed this experience…I only wish that there had been several more samples. I’m left to wonder, that when the distilleries taste a barrel…do they always find a common profile? Are there a handful of stereotypes that waft out? How often do they taste something and say, “Wow…I didn’t see that coming.”?

BradleyC
04-02-2011, 17:25
Which store are you referring to Eric? Do you know which barrel they will be going with? If you want some cinnamon in your bourbon, grab a bottle of the 2010 Birthday Bourbon. Best example I can think of. I've gotten SB Buff Trace from a store in SE Denver (they also have SB baby saz). I like to support local store's efforts with barrel programs. I would really like to help with the selection process. I wish someone around here would do a SB barrel proof 4 Roses, or the Willett 3yr rye.

sailor22
04-02-2011, 17:35
Were the samples barrel proof? If so was the proof similar on all three? Did you try adding water to bring the proof to the bottling proof?

I'm surprised that they were fundamentally that different. Typically the selections sent to retailers are all clearly in the profile of the label (BT in this case) and offer some subtle differences.

lrochau
04-02-2011, 17:51
I was lucky enough to take part in a tasting at Eagle River in Fulton, IL. My buddy Chad was invited and was able to get me in as well. We sampled five barrels that were at 90 proof. Pretty amazing to see the differences in each one. Pretty excited to be able to go back and buy several bottles. Cool story to tell others that I helped pick out the barrel.

Lost Pollito
04-02-2011, 18:40
The bt samples are usually cut to 90. The number on the bottle should say barrel number next to. rick and location are also located on the sample bottles. barrels are usually sequential, as they pull from a rick/ or a consecutive run. Thats been my experience. Profiles are generally on par, but some will vary based on sweetness, and lack of...in which i usually find anise. We usually pick the ones that taste like bt, then round out with the sweeter barrels. Lots of fun picking barrels. Enjoy the experience.

wripvanwrinkle
04-02-2011, 19:23
Which store are you referring to Eric? Do you know which barrel they will be going with? If you want some cinnamon in your bourbon, grab a bottle of the 2010 Birthday Bourbon. Best example I can think of. I've gotten SB Buff Trace from a store in SE Denver (they also have SB baby saz). I like to support local store's efforts with barrel programs. I would really like to help with the selection process. I wish someone around here would do a SB barrel proof 4 Roses, or the Willett 3yr rye.

Hi Bradley, the store is Heritage on Arapahoe. Is the SB Baby Saz still available? I really love me some Rye.

wripvanwrinkle
04-02-2011, 19:27
The bt samples are usually cut to 90. The number on the bottle should say barrel number next to. rick and location are also located on the sample bottles. barrels are usually sequential, as they pull from a rick/ or a consecutive run. Thats been my experience. Profiles are generally on par, but some will vary based on sweetness, and lack of...in which i usually find anise. We usually pick the ones that taste like bt, then round out with the sweeter barrels. Lots of fun picking barrels. Enjoy the experience.

Thanks! This is exactly what i was looking for.

wripvanwrinkle
04-02-2011, 19:40
Were the samples barrel proof? If so was the proof similar on all three? Did you try adding water to bring the proof to the bottling proof?

I'm surprised that they were fundamentally that different. Typically the selections sent to retailers are all clearly in the profile of the label (BT in this case) and offer some subtle differences.

I'm unsure of the proof, but the samples were much lower than 50% abv. I added no more water.