Eagle Rare 17 – 2014 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection
Sadly, the journey of sampling 2014 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection has come to end. Finishing off the review series with my favorite the 2014 Eagle Rare 17. I haven’t even reviewed the original Eagle Rare on the site yet. I have only sampled it a few times previous to enjoying this year’s expression. Needless to say I didn’t quite know what to expect with it.
I was happy to see that bourbon came out at 90 proof. I think I’ve come to realize that I enjoy bourbons more in the 90-110 proof rather than the higher ends. To me they offer a chance to cut through some of the alcohol content and really dive into the complexities of the bourbon faster. This particular blend used bourbons from 26 barrels that were blended together to form the final product. These barrels have been sitting and aging for nearly two decades in the charred oak barrels in rickhouses in Kentucky.
Just sit back and think about that for awhile. 17 years, that’s a long time, hell I was 13 at the time. That’s crazy to think about. So as I sit here sipping on this juice I just want to say cheers and thank you to all the good folks at Buffalo Trace who have put in countless hours perfecting their craft and their recipes. Although we may not all agree on our preference of bourbon/whiskey I think that we can all say collectively, Thank You. Now let’s hop into the review and see where this Eagle Rare 17 takes us.
Mmm, some familiar aromas peer out from the bottom of my Glencairn glass. Heavy doses of oak, vanilla and char. Some faint notes of tobacco and citrus as well. As I swirl it around I pick up more and more of those delicious qualities that remind me of how a bourbon should smell.
The first sip of this Eagle Rare 17 and I knew it was my favorite from the 2014 BTAC. It hit me right on the tip of my tongue with some sweet caramel, and a bit of orange zest. On the back of my tongue there was a bit of spice, noticeably cinnamon. Then to finish it off a dose of leather and tobacco. A ton of complexities going on that are very well balanced. When I’m drinking it I can’t help but think this is exactly how I want my bourbon to taste. I even wrote that down word for word in my notes.
The finish is medium in length and gives a nice warm mouth coating. It hangs around just long enough to leave you satisfied, but also whets your palate enough to beg to take another sip. There is a crisp orange zest at the end that finishes off the note cleanly and readies your sense to have another go around.
This Eagle Rare 17 is easily my #1 choice from this year’s Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. I’ve already said it twice, but to me this is how bourbon should taste. It has a complex nose that doesn’t set you on fire. The palate is thick and balanced with lots of different flavors coming through. The finish is just long enough to leave you wanting to take another sip. I want a bottle of this constantly sitting on my shelf. I would reach for it over and over again. I would love to pair this up with a cigar and see how the two react with one another. Overall, for me this is a winner and I will certainly buy a bottle if I ever come across one on the shelf.