Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, Kentucky
Proof: 142.6 (71.3%)
Age: 15 Years (approx)
This is an extremely rare whiskey, but not priced the same way as most whiskies of this quality and rarity.
Appearance: Wonderful patinated copper red in the bottle, similar to the color of a chunk of jewelry grade Baltic Amber. The color of this whiskey tips you off that it is well aged. Nice edge line on the glass when you swirl it, smooth layer of whiskey. On swirling, with some minor legs and scalloping of the swirl line.
First Impression: Corn and rye, with the usual, seeming signature, from this distillery, which end up smelling like leather, toffee, tamarind, papaya, and mint. You can smell the oaks influence on the whiskey in the peppery scent towards the end. Lots of dark fruit/ fruitcake like smells at the end as well. However this years release does not seem as scent forward, almost tame or understated compared to earlier release until you add a little water.
Taste: Wonderfully heavy mouth feel, it is a sweet fire at full strength.
However, the fact that you can drink it at that proof and actually like it speaks volumes as to how good it is. There is a definite sweetness to the corn with a intense rye sourness to it , kind of like the bitter you get from a intense piece of high cocoa chocolate – and for me the same cascade of endorphins to the pleasure center of my brain.
Sweetness for a second then the oak fruit and finally oaky dryness roll over the tongue with a intense but pleasant warming all the way down . A shorter presence and finish with slightly less astringency from the oak than past years.
Addition of some water (bottled or filtered, no chlorine!) knocks down the alcohol and opens up the bouquet nicely.