I interrupt the usual schedule of Bourbon Heritage Month posts to bring this breaking news…

The time has finally arrived! After weeks of almost ritualistic refreshing on the Buffalo Trace News page, and listening to Simon and Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence with each failed refresh, the details of this year’s annual Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC) have finally landed and they are very exciting to say the least. Consisting of 5 whiskies that showcase Buffalo Trace’s finest offerings across a range of proofs, ages, and styles, these whiskies are some of the most sought after whiskies of the year. As taken from their press release, the details are as follows:

“Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley notes, “The team had another great year with the Antique Collection.  From distillation, to barrel selection, to bottling, this year’s collection showed very well.  I was particularly excited about the William Larue Weller with its extra richness, and the Eagle Rare 17 seemed more rounded and full of flavor.  None of these disappointed.”

So here’s what to expect this year:

George T. Stagg

The powerhouse favorite of the Antique Collection, George T. Stagg weighs in at 129.2 proof this year.  Past releases of this uncut and unfiltered bourbon have won many top awards, including “5 Stars – Highest Recommendation” by F. Paul Pacult’s The Spirit Journal. This year’s release contains bourbon from barrels filled in the spring of 2002. This batch contained 309 barrels, a few more than last year.  Storage location of these barrels varied across warehouses C, K, M and Q.  This whiskey tastes of expresso, chocolate fudge and tobacco.

William Larue Weller

The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon is William Larue Weller. Previous editions of this wheater have won many accolades, including a Double Gold Medal at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and “Bourbon of the Year” by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2017.  The 2017 offering was distilled in the winter of 2005 and aged in Warehouses D, I, and P.  This bourbon registers in at 128.2 proof.  The bold flavors include toffee, marshmallow and leather.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye

Thomas H. Handy is the uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. Previous editions of this whiskey have been named “World Whisky of the Year” by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and “World’s Best American Whiskey” by Whisky Magazine.  This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2011; aged on the third, fourth and fifth floors of Warehouses K, L, and Q, and weighs in at 127.2 proof.  The flavor is described as fig, allspice and cinnamon.

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old

The previous edition of this bourbon was honored with a Silver Outstanding Medal at the 2017 International Wine and Spirits Competition. The 2017 edition has been aging on the first, second and third floors of Warehouses C, K and P.  This 90 proof bourbon was aged for seventeen years and tastes of oak, tobacco, toffee and vanilla.

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old

Last year Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old received “4 Stars – Highly Recommended” by F. Paul Pacult’s The Spirit Journal.  This 2017 straight rye whiskey release has notable flavors of leather, clove and all-spice.  The barrels for this whiskey were filled in the spring of 1998, and then put into a stainless steel tank in 2016 to stop further aging and evaporation.

 

So there you have it folks. Since the first release in 2000 these whiskies have offered whiskey lovers a unique annual experience and their popularity has made finding them at their RRP of $90 very difficult. However, if the information trickling through the whiskey-verse is correct we’re going to see increased numbers of bottles the likes of which hasn’t been seen before, with certain popular offerings like W.L Weller and George T Stagg rumoured to have yielded  between 5,619 and 28,998 more bottles than last year. Rumours also suggest that Eagle Rare is down by 2,731 bottles compared to last year but overall there’s been an increase in yield which hopefully translates to bigger allocations and higher chances of getting your favourite bottle.

For more information and a breakdown of what to expect brand by brand why not head over to

http://www.breakingbourbon.com/buffalo-trace-antique-collection-2017-fact-sheet.html where those guys have really outdone themselves with this  amazing visual.

Sláinte!

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