If you read my last two Buffalo Trace single barrel reviews feel free to skip this section! Before we get into another one of these - I'd like to say the usefulness of most single barrel reviews really ends at the lengths of the distribution channels for the source of the pick. Your mileage may vary significantly barrel to barrel, but one thing is for certain - if you are a local customer to a store who does great picks - you are in for a good time. I'm taking some time this season to highlight a few of the stores I have visited who I think do exceptional picks. I will be utilizing a reasonably accessible brand like Buffalo Trace to kickstart that conversation. I also thought this was a good medium because of its lower proof; this serves as a level playing field for approachability of whiskey drinkers of all calibers, and also keeps me level headed as I taste through several releases.
As I weave together a few store pick reviews over my next few posts, either look at this as an opportunity to get to learn the picking team at the store being reviewed (if it is anywhere near you), or look for high level trends to see if chasing single barrels of this release are worth it to you. You might find some interesting info here!
Now let's get into the whiskey! The fun part!
Company on Label: Buffalo Trace
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #1 (Low Rye < 10%)
Age: NAS, but commonly discussed to be around 6-8 years old; though the only TTB requirement has it being over 4 years
Further identification: Barrel #021 comes from Kappy's - a great chain in Massachusetts
Nose: Light, herbaceous and floral on the nose! What a funky change of pace here. Oak dominates this early glass. Bright linen and dry vanilla permeate the senses. Floral tones like white lily and bright Spring daffodils continue to jump out at me. Let's have a taste.
Funky earth and leather sneak into the glass after returning from a sip. This pour continues to emanate dark, funky tones all throughout. I find a chest full of anise, clove and metallic black pepper. The empty glass smells of cardboard, dark oak bark and damp soil.
Palate: Zesty lemon peel hits the back of the throat sharply at the start. Angostura bitters, level oak and allspice clash strangely. Thin cherry syrup comes across slightly oily but laced with an overtly spicy cinnamon backbone. I find this a little imbalanced and slightly proofy which feels a bit comical given the ABV number listed on the label. Another sip and swish levels this out into an enjoyable profile that closely resembles an old fashioned. Orange peel clearly layers in and I am comforted by familiar flavors again. The linger is fairly long, propped up by a thick mouth coating of orange blossom honey. Quite a bit of red wine flashes up at times in tannic waves. My last sip is clove forward with a searing drop of magma that flows through my chest. I can't believe a 90 proof like this can drink this hot!
Overall this release didn't really jive with me. I think I prefer the sweeter barrels of this and this one had too many funky layers of spice. While this particular release didn't land, a majority of them do from the 1940 Barrel Society which I'm glad to be a member of. Check out your local Kappy's for single barrel picks and let them know I sent you! I'd recommend the Blueberry Port finished bourbon from Starlight & grab an Old Soul Tintype while you are there too.