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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Review

Fresh off our bonus post of pictures from our trip to the Buffalo Trace Distillery, welcome to the review for Buffalo Trace Bourbon. This one is hard to find in Ohio so we're excited to give it a go. As always, let's start with the basics.

Manufacturer: Buffalo Trace (Sazerac Company)

Age: Unknown

Location Produced: Buffalo Trace Distillery, Franklin Co., KY

Mash Bill: Unknown

Aroma (from manufacturer): None provided

Taste (from manufacturer)Rich and complex, with hints of vanilla, toffee and candied fruit

Finish (from manufacturer): None provided

Alcohol: 45%

Who is this for? Everyone

Cost (Ohio): $25.49 + tax

Phew, with all that information out of the way, let's start the review. 

Taste - Score 23 out of 35

Buffalo Trace starts with a nice oak aroma. Other bourbons often smell too much like liquor, but this comes across as light and sweet.

In terms of the taste, The Duchess found hints of salted caramel, vanilla, oak, and baking spices. I thought this was a bit weak on the flavor scale and could have used a bit more time in the barrel to pick up more of the char. The taste wasn't bad... it just didn't blow me away and felt weak and a tad watery... which is weird because this is a normal proofed bourbon (90 proof).

Smoothness/Finish - Score 17.5 out of 25

I give this a medium finish, not overly strong, and very smooth. When I put in a rocks glass with ice, the finish became really short. In terms of smoothness, either straight or on the rocks, this a very smooth bourbon. We recommend to get the true finish, to limit the amount of ice or the taste becomes diluted much faster than other bourbons we've tried.

Intangibles: Color/Appearance -  Score 9 out of 15.

The Buffalo Trace bottle is fine. It's not as unique as others, including the Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream. For the bottle I tested, it was really hard to open. I had to get a scissors to lift the tab, then it didn't follow the perforation so I had to use the scissors again. If they are going to do something unique, I would want something more consistent when it opens. Additionally, there is no batch number or indicator of when it was bottled. The bottle does have the bubble neck, but overall, there isn't any overarching 'wow' factor.

In terms of color, Buffalo Trace comes in near the middle in terms of darkness. It looks nice in the glass and I was pleasantly surprised by how it coated the glass. The pictures below have buffalo trace in the middle. The first picture has it flanked by Weller on the left and Bulleit Rye on the right. The second picture is Bulleit Rye on the left and Woodford Reserve Bourbon on the right.

Availability - Score 1 out of 5

Surprisingly, Buffalo Trace is incredibly hard to come by in Columbus. I checked four stores and came up empty each time.... It is listed by the state as being active, they just don't seem intent on making it available. 

Overall Value - Score 15 out of 20

At this price point, Buffalo trace is sold at a fair price for a decent whiskey. This is a good bourbon for someone wanting to get into bourbon and makes a good mixer for an old fashioned or manhattan. You could do much worse for your money. If this more readily available, this would be a good option for a decent priced go-to bourbon. 

Final Score: 65.5 out of 100 - Could be good in the right situation

Note: This review was done by Mark and The Duchess. The bottle was purchased in Kentucky by our friends, Kevin and Diana.

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