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  1. #1
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    Musty Buffalo Trace

    Well it happened again. Leslie and I were at an outside "tiki" bar, if you will, and I noticed a bottle of BT on the shelf. I ordered a double on the rocks, thankful that I didn't have to settle for MM or JBW, or so I thought. I could smell something was up when the bartender placed the drink in front of me. The nose was all mildew and soil, and the taste wasn't much better, with nuances of rotten wood and river water. I did manage to finish it, but made a mental note not to pick up any BT anytime soon, as this was an establishment that probably had very recent production BT.

    Don't get me wrong, I have been a fan of BT for a long time. Thankfully so, as unfortunately my first bottle of BT many years ago had this very similar profile, and I was close to never purchasing it again. But I did, and found subsequent bottles to be excellent examples of good bourbon.

    I have theorized in the past that this ocassional mustiness in many of BT's products is a result of it's proximity to the river, and the fact that the river periodically floods. I'm not saying that there were barrels underwater, but they seem to have picked up that post-flood mildew aroma and flavor. I think it is always present in small quantities, and contributes to the "house style", but occasionally it's over the top. Am I wrong?

    Has anyone else experienced this in BT lately?
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

  2. #2
    Bourbonian Of The Year 2013 and Guru
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    Re: Musty Buffalo Trace

    Damn, that's bad news. I had the experience of the Great BT Funk a couple of years ago, but recently, nothing but goodness from them. I hope you just had an off bottle, or that it was old stock, and it's not a replay of the Great Funk. You've stated your river theory before, and I've always thought that was as good an explanation as any. It's the one I use when explaining it, anyway. I'll have to stock up from known sources, if this is a trend.
    JOE

    Wag more.
    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

  3. #3
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    Re: Musty Buffalo Trace

    Jeff,
    did the bottle at the bar have a pourspout in it? If so, air would be in constant contact with the bourbon, which IMO, turns it into whatever kind of air is in the bar.

    If no pourspout...then it could very well be the bottle is corked.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Musty Buffalo Trace

    Quote Originally Posted by mozilla View Post
    Jeff,
    did the bottle at the bar have a pourspout in it? If so, air would be in constant contact with the bourbon, which IMO, turns it into whatever kind of air is in the bar.

    If no pourspout...then it could very well be the bottle is corked.
    Jeff,

    No pour-spout. It looked to be an almost full bottle too, so I don't think they had it for a long time. And, just based on years of experience with this and other BT brands, I doubt it is a cork problem, unless their corks all fell into the river
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

  5. #5
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    Re: Musty Buffalo Trace

    I should add that I don't have any real knowledge of why BT sometimes tastes this way. I do know that it is not what a "good" bottle of BT tastes like. In fact, they bear very little resemblance to one another. My theory is only guess-work, based on my experience with the brand, and growing up in Frankfort and recognizing the musty smell in the air that hangs on downtown for weeks after a flood. Tasting this bottle triggered that memory.
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

  6. #6
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    Re: Musty Buffalo Trace

    I see.

    So, you think that the water from the river is somehow getting into the barrels?

    Maybe, the air exchange of the barrel breathing or humidity entering the barrel could be happening? The water vapor in the air would have to be highly filled with the flavors of the river to make this happen, right?
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  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Re: Musty Buffalo Trace

    I wonder if it could be a bottle contamination issue...after all they do sit there unsealed in boxes for a little while...if they happened to be there during this high moisture season the bottles could take on this musty odor/flavor and transfer it to the spirit upon filling.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

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  8. #8
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    Re: Musty Buffalo Trace

    Quote Originally Posted by smokinjoe View Post
    I had the experience of the Great BT Funk a couple of years ago...
    I think I saw them open for Earth Wind & Fire in the early '80s
    Remember how their old hit went?

    "I'm gonna try to get you drunk, get you drunk on my BT Funk"

    Roger "Put the Bump in the Trunk with the BT Funk" Hodges

  9. #9
    Bourbonian Of The Year 2013 and Guru
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    Thumbs up Re: Musty Buffalo Trace

    Quote Originally Posted by Rughi View Post
    I think I saw them open for Earth Wind & Fire in the early '80s
    Remember how their old hit went?

    "I'm gonna try to get you drunk, get you drunk on my BT Funk"

    Roger "Put the Bump in the Trunk with the BT Funk" Hodges


    JOE

    Wag more.
    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

  10. #10
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    Re: Musty Buffalo Trace

    I've always thought BT smelled and tasted like dirt. Glad someone else finally agrees. I never could figure out why. I gave a friend of mine a totally full 1.75L bottle just to get it out of the house. I'll try some this weekend at the KBF and see if it's changed.
    My Ky Bourbon Trail...
    Maker's Mark (Awesome renovation!)
    Buffalo Trace
    Woodford Reserve (Beautiful!)
    Wild Turkey
    Jim Beam
    Four Roses
    Heaven Hill

 

 

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