Had a chance to get the bourbon buddies together a couple of times over the Holidays to do a little tasting. A month ago I had the chance to purchase four bottles of the 2011 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection whiskeys from my favorite local store, Metcalf Discount Liquor. I had purchased a bottle of the 2010 William Larue Weller earlier this year and saved it to do a little side by side with the 2011 version.We performed the tasting by starting with the Eagle Rare 17 and finishing with the 18 year old Sazerac Rye. All whiskeys were tasted neat, then tasted over ice for comparison.
Eagle Rare 17 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – Great place to start. Immediate aromas of tropical fruit (banana’s, kiwi, etc.) and a certain amount of sweetness in the background. This is the most approachable of the whiskeys with comments including maple syrup, vanilla and nutmeg. Delicious. Even better over ice.
2011 William Larue Weller – Immediate blast of heat on the nose compared to the Eagle Rare. Sweet aromatics at the start. Tastes of caramel and toffee with a dash of spice on the back end including black pepper and cayenne.
2010 William Larue Weller – Not as hot at first impression. Tastes of caramel and molasses on the front end with less spice on the back end. A little softer than the 2011. Start to pick up a little licorice and cinnamon on ice. My favorite of the tasting.
George T. Sragg Kentucky Straight Bourbon – An immediate WOW! What a big whiskey. I have never tasted a bigger bourbon. A lot of heat on the nose, with up front flavors of dark chocolate, toffee, cinnamon, and caramel. A definite slow sipper. Everyone else’s favorite.
Sazerac 18 Year Old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey – Very different from the bourbons. Initial impressions included soft, smooth, spicy. Hints of sweetness, cinnamon, and mint. This is by far the best rye whiskey I have tasted. A very unique experience.
What a great lineup of whiskeys. I look forward to enjoying these over the winter and plan to make the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection part of my annual bourbon collecting in the future.