With the title of the longest continuously-operational distillery in the U.S, The Buffalo Trace Distillery has been operating under various names for over 200 years on the bank of the Kentucky River. Under it’s current Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley, and Master Blender Drew Mayville the brands produced by Buffalo Trace have received over 500 awards from writers, enthusiasts and spirits competitions around the globe. Through their wide scope of brands that appeal to all levels of drinker, their much-anticipated annual releases, and continued innovations in production, the Buffalo Trace Distillery has a global reputation for producing fine bourbon, rye, and American whiskies.

As the older brother of Buffalo Trace bourbon, Eagle Rare bourbon offers a premium-level whiskey for the more discerning bourbon drinkers. Made using Buffalo Trace’s Mashbill #1 (featuring 10% or less rye), aged for a minimum of 10 years, and bottled from batches of no more than 2-3 barrels, Eagle Rare serves as a gateway bourbon into Buffalo Trace’s premium line of bourbons. The Eagle Rare brand also makes an annual appearance as a 17 year old bourbon in the coveted Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, with last year’s release being bottled at 101 proof in homage to the brand’s legacy of being bottled at 101 proof.

Vital Stats:

Name: Eagle Rare Bourbon
Age: 10 y.o.
Proof: 90 proof (45% ABV)
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Mashbill: Low rye mashbill – less than 10% rye
Producer: Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, KY
Website: https://www.buffalotracedistillery.com/media/bourbon#eagle-rare
Glassware: Glencairn

Review

Nose: The nose opens with sweet caramel, a touch of red fruit, faint barrel smoke, and earthy dry oak.
Palate: The palate opens creamy with deep sweet butterscotch, a kick of earthy spice, some tart dark cherries, a touch of rich smoky oak, and dark chocolate.
Finish: The finish opens with a kick of dry oak spice followed by caramel brittle, more tannic oak, and a spicy herbaceous aftertaste that slightly dries out the tongue and cheeks.

Overall 

Eagle Rare is a great introduction into Buffalo Trace’s premium bourbons and its versatility makes it great to drink either straight up or in your favourite whiskey-based cocktail. Its profile is so distinct that Eagle Rare is one of the few bourbons I think I could identify blind almost every time. Its balance of sweet butterscotch, tart dark fruit, dry spicy oak, and rich barrel smoke are almost unmistakable, even in a line-up of bourbons from the same mashbill. At no less than 10 years old this bourbon seems to be a high point in the maturation of the Buffalo Trace #1 mashbill when it’s bottled at 90 proof and gives bourbon lovers an excellent sipping experience regardless of their level of experience. There’s a level of maturity in the flavours and just enough spice from the oak that balance each other out perfectly.

Try or Buy?

If you’re looking for something that tastes great, mixes into cocktails with ease, and is a bit more mature in its flavours than standard bourbon offerings then Eagle Rare is the bourbon for you. Another bonus is it’s usually very well priced and easily outperforms other products on the same price-level. If you’re still unsure, a pour at a bar won’t put you back much. For me this is an easy buy every time, especially if you can find a store pick!

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