Perhaps the first whiskey that I truly fell in love with was the Abraham Bowman 10 year old Rye from the Party Source. Although love may be a strong word, it is indeed the only whiskey that I regret not having bunkered another bottle. Although I think this Rye has enough positive qualities to hold this claim on its own, it was a spectral revelation that sealed the deal for me. Upon initial nosing I was struck with the smell of the small chalky Valentine’s Day heart candies that I received as a child. The closest analogy that I can think of is the smell of Pepto-Bismol or perhaps more specifically certain pink suspensions of Antibiotic intended for children. Maybe the smell is a more candied version of bubble gum.

In a weird Proustian way, this smell triggered a not unpleasant memory of a specific Valentine’s Day long forgotten.

Perhaps because of this association, this smell stands out to me now. It is very clear in the TPS 17 year old Abraham Bowman bourbon. Fleetingly, I also pick it up in both George T. Stagg and T. Handy. As these offerings may share a common source, I often wondered about a possible Buffalo Trace connection. As a pragmatist, I chalked this all up to fantasy.

Then a couple of days ago I opened a dusty shooter of George T Stagg 4 year old 86 proof. I’m unsure of the production year, though it bore a red government tax stamp and had a state tax stamp on it as well. There, clear as day, was the chalky valentine day heart smell. It was perhaps even more expressive than in the Bowman products.

I don’t think that I’ve perceived this smell in any “normal” production Buffalo Trace offering.

I’m wondering if anyone here picks up something similar. If so, do you perceive it within a “normal” Buffalo Trace product? Although the connections are likely manufactured, I’m wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience. I’m kind of hoping that someone will tell me “Yes you idiot, they sell that profile as Ancient Age*.”

* Insert appropriate product here.