Buffalo Trace Masterclass with Drew Mayville

Buffalo Trace Masterclass On Saturday, 10th October, I was lucky to attend a Buffalo Trace tasting in Edinburgh with master blender Drew Mayville which not only went through the white dog and standard Buffalo Trace bottlings but also some of the Antique Collection.

This was a really fascinating tasting to be at as Drew was really open about much of what they do at Buffalo Trace from them spending $1million on a warehouse where they can do experiments to see how different environmental factors affect the maturation of the Whiskey, to talking about the length of times the oak is left to season before being made into casks (usually around 6 months).

It was also interesting to discover that it is legal to "finish" a bourbon in other casks, such as wine, as long as that is clearly stated on the bottling but that Drew prefers not to do this as he believed it would only be done to hide bad whiskey.

Buffalo Trace are exceedingly busy at the moment, so much so that they are currently building warehouses at a rate of two per year to keep up with demand.

The Masterclass started with a Mint Julep made with Buffalo Trace as we listened to a short presentation by Drew. Overall a great learning experience and a fabulous tasting.


Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace The standard bottling of Buffalo Trace, with corn and rye giving a mix of sweetness from the corn and spices from the rye.

Tasted as part of the Masterclass with Drew Mayville

Master Blender Drew Mayville chatted openly about this dram, telling us that the approximate age of this is 8 years sometimes older, sometimes a bit younger.

The rye adds a lovely spicy oaky edge to this dram but I really enjoy the sweetness from the corn and the vanilla that comes through from the fresh American oak. This is a lovely dram and easy on its own or as part of a whiskey sour, old fashioned or julep.

Available from many retailers including specialists like The Whisky Exchange

 

Loads of lovely sweet coconut milk, freshly scraped Madagascan vanilla, lots of sweetness, marzipan and hints of sugared almonds.

Sweet lovely coconut, vanilla and marzipan, boiled fruity sweets, a really creamy note, hints of oriental spices

Grows spicier on the finish, quite drying

Bottle Name: Buffalo Trace
Age: 8
ABV: 40.00
Distiller: Buffalo Trace
Bottler: Buffalo Trace
Type: Bourbon
From: USA, Not Scottish


Buffalo Trace White Dog Mash 1

Buffalo Trace White Dog Mash 1 It's not everyday you get to try what is basically moonshine, but you can if you own some Buffalo Trace White Dog Mash 1.

This is basically the raw spirit that is poured lovingly into casks to produce Buffalo Trace Bourbon, which is a damn nice spirit on it's own, so i was really interested in trying this.

why not pick up a bottle from Royal Mile Whiskies and try it for yourself, just beware this stuff is true firewater.

 

Creamy coconut and caribean fruits like pineapple and mango, along with gentle acetone

sweet and sour chicken with pineapple chunks and cocunut milk

belies the strength, amazing stuff

Bottle Name: Buffalo Trace White Dog Mash 1
Age: 0
ABV: 62.50
Distiller: Buffalo Trace
Bottler: Buffalo Trace
Type: Bourbon
From: United States of Ame, Please Select


Eagle Rare 10 Year Old

Eagle Rare A single barrel version of Buffalo Trace aged for around 2 years longer, so around the 10 years mark or more.

Tasted as part of the Masterclass with Drew Mayville

This is the same recipe as Buffalo Trace with that rye addition for spice and the corn for sweetness.

This is damn nice, fruity, sweet, leathery and spicy, a damn nice drink and one that I would rather drink straight than mix in a cocktail .

Available from many retailers including specialists like The Whisky Exchange

 

Creamy vanilla comes through first followed by some lovely dark fruits, nectarines, plums, peaches and hints of blackberries, leather and molasses

Very sweet and fruity, with new leather, hints of chewing tobacco, molasses, sweet marshmallow and vanilla Angel delight, very easy drinking

Dry, spicy and much oakier than buffalo trace

Bottle Name: Eagle Rare 10 Year Old
Age: 10
ABV: 45.00
Distiller: Buffalo Trace
Bottler: Buffalo Trace
Type: Bourbon
From: USA, Not Scottish


Sazerac Straight Rye 18yr (2015 Antique Collection)

Sazerac Straight Rye 18yr (2015 Antique Collection) The Sazerac straight rye 18 year old was distilled in 1985 then aged 18 years it was all transferred from the casks into containers and has been released in batches annually since.

Tasted as part of the Masterclass with Drew Mayville this is yet to be released in the UK

The 2016 version, Drew Mayville, has confirmed will be the first version that has been created since 2003.

This was my favourite from the range, it really is pretty spectacular and right up my street, lovely drinking dram and full of gentle fruity sweets and molasses. I really really like this.

On Release this will be available from specialist retailers like The Whisky Exchange but it will sell out quickly

 

The sweetness in here comes across initially like those artificially fruity boiled sweets, then a massive sweetness including rptreacle, Christmas cake spices and a lightly toasted bread like note.

Very spicy, fruity boiled sweets, molasses, very much like a lovely sweet cognac, sweet and gentle, lovely drinking dram.

Oaky, sweet, spicy but not hot

Bottle Name: Sazerac Straight Rye 18yr (2015 Antique Collection)
Age: 18
ABV: 45.00
Distiller: Buffalo Trace
Bottler: Buffalo Trace
Type: Rye
From: USA, Not Scottish


Stagg Jr (2015 Version)

Stagg Jr (2015 Version) A more affordable version of the full George T Stagg this is younger at around the 8/9 years old mark

Tasted as part of the Masterclass with Drew Mayville

This was one of my favourites and was just pipped by the Sazerac straight rye, it's much more affordable than the Sazerac and more widely available with four releases each year.

If you can only get one limited edition from Buffalo Trace this is the one to buy.

Available from specialist retailers like The Whisky Exchange

 

There's a lovely juicy sweet, mouthwatering boiled sweet lovely sweetness, toffees, caramels, treacle, coconut, vanilla

Sweet and spicy, syrupy treacle, lovely, Christmas cake spices my hints of cherries

Spicy and sweet, hints of cherries from tinned fruit salad

Bottle Name: Stagg Jr (2015 Version)
Age: 8
ABV: 66.05
Distiller: Buffalo Trace
Bottler: Buffalo Trace
Type: Bourbon
From: USA, Not Scottish


William Larue Weller (2015 Antique Collection)

William Larue Weller (2015 Antique Collection) This wheated bourbon contains no rye and the wheat gives it a lot more sweetness along with the corn. At 67.3% abv this is a lovely dram that hides the abv.

Tasted as part of the Masterclass with Drew Mayville this is yet to be released in the UK

This is sweet and easy to drink despite the high abv and I really did enjoy this dram, it doesn't have quite the same spicy oak loveliness as the Sazerac.

I enjoyed this, and would happily accept one, not sure if I would buy it over the Sazerac but it's one I'd happily drink through.

On Release this will be available from specialist retailers like The Whisky Exchange but it will sell out quickly

 

This is really sweet, quite fresh, amazingly fruity and sweet, fabulous intense without spices, lots of lovely fruits and juicy, almost too sweet but it just works out good enough.

Soft sweet boiled sweets leathery, tobacco,and fresh pine needles, toffee apples, explosive tropical fruitiness, masses of edgy sweetness

Feels spicy but major abv instead, lots of tropical fruity sweetness

Bottle Name: William Larue Weller (2015 Antique Collection)
Age: NAS
ABV: 67.30
Distiller: Buffalo Trace
Bottler: Buffalo Trace
Type: Bourbon
From: USA, Not Scottish


Related Articles

Buffalo Trace
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old
Stagg Jr (2015 Version)
Buffalo Trace White Dog Mash 1
Sazerac Straight Rye 18yr (2015 Antique Collection)

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