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Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey and the Herby Cocktail

The name Buffalo Trace is often directly related to Sazerac Rye, one of the most famous and popular rye whiskeys. A whiskey that costs four times as much as the Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey and thus apparently plays in a completely different league - but since Sazerac took the famous bourbon distillery under the nail in 1992, both spirits (and various more ) made there, in Frankfort, Kentucky. In addition to various other American whiskeys - because practically no other still produces so many different variants of bourbon and rye whiskey. However, only one of them bears the name of the manufacturer. Before we get into that, though, a few words about the company itself.

The bottle for this tasting was made available to us by Diversa Specialties GmbH, there were no conditions. More information on this at the end of the article.

The story behind Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Buffalo Trace is a traditional company, but one with an eventful past: Founded in 1875, it changed name three times until 1992, before finally changing its name to its current name. The shop was founded in 1857 by Benjamin Blanton - Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon is named after him, the first single barrel bourbon ever (you will know the round bottle when you see it). Shortly thereafter, Edmund Taylor took over (the E.H. Taylor whiskeys are named after him), and in 1873 the still went to George T. Stagg (who also has his own memory whiskey).

In 1992 Buffalo Trace finally went to the Sazerac Company, which not only has its own portfolio but also keeps its own brands here. These include treats such as the Sazerc Rye, the expensive and very rare Pappy van Winkle whiskeys or the Stagg Junior, a 150 euro bourbon. And the Buffalo Trace - a bourbon that can be found on sale for less than 20 euros, but which, for example, has sentences like "One of the world's great whiskeys!" elicits.

This Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is the flagship of the distillery, and consists of around 70 percent corn, the rest is unknown, but, as usual with American whiskey, consists of various types of grain, of which rye is probably the most important. Like all American whiskeys, it ages in burned American white oak barrels. Depending on the source, its age is sometimes given as “around 8” years, sometimes as 8 to 12 years. If you take 8 as the lowest common denominator, that's still impressive for a bourbon in this price range. As always, the question remains: does it taste good?

How does the Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey taste?

Its red-brown color is reminiscent of forest honey, its viscosity is oily. The nose is unexpectedly fresh: we perceive oak, vanilla, apples and a little straw. There is also a very exciting note of mint. If you let the bourbon stand for a while, a little chocolate is added. Overall, it does not necessarily go into the olfactory range, but it smells pleasantly round.

Nose: Oak, vanilla, apples, straw, mint, chocolate

Mouth: Honey, vanilla, green apples, oak, red fruits, sugar cane

On the tongue it seems very reserved at first, and the mouthfeel is less full than we expected when panning. We find a slight honey sweetness, vanilla and green apples on the tongue, in the finish the oak shows itself again together with red fruits. The aftertaste remains fruity, has light and, above all, unexpected hints of sugar cane. It stays comfortably on the tongue for a long time without becoming intrusive.

Buffalo Trace Whiskey pure and in cocktails

This bourbon is not a total ricochet, but brings with it various very own and special notes that absolutely justify pure enjoyment (if you can call it that - everyone drinks what they like, in the way they like). Despite the rather restrained aromas, we quickly realize: this whiskey definitely looks good in cocktails - especially its freshness, the menthol-fruity one is excellent in drinks. The Buffalo Trace makes excellent mint juleps.

Inspired by the fantastic guys from bar-vademecum.de and the podcast by Jörg Meyer, we mix a Hunter Cocktail, a classic two-ingredient drink made from bourbon and the cherry liqueur Cherry Heering - really nice thing. On the long drink side we mix a horse’s neck with ginger ale on top of that, when it comes to short drinks we twist a boulevardier by mixing the Buffalo Trace with the Amaro from the Freimeisterkollektiv and Mancino Vermouth Rosso combine. Both good drinks, but what stands out in the end is the Julep - so let's try a variant with chartreuse. Because Chartreuse. The Herby:

Herby cocktail

  • 6 cl Bourbon (Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight)
  • 2 cl Chartreuse Verte
  • 10 mint leaves

Lightly press the mint in a tumbler and fill the glass with crushed ice. Stir until the glass steams up, fill with bourbon and chartreuse, stir again and fill up with crushed ice. Drink.

Buy Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey on Amazon.de! *

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Conclusion: A bourbon with an astonishingly old age for the price - round in taste and perfect for juleps thanks to its many fresh, fruity notes.

Data: 40 percent, USA, 0.7 liters, around 22 euros

The German distributor of Buffalo Trace, Diversa Specialties GmbH, provided us with a bottle of Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey for editorial purposes, but afterwards did not try to influence the type or size of any articles or the tasting. We say thank you for the great and uncomplicated cooperation.

The marked products are spirits that Johann is involved in distributing in his day job. He does not receive any commission for mentioning them and his employer has no control over when and in what way he mentions the company's products on Cocktailbart.