Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Review:

“The amazing herds of buffaloes which resort thither, 
by their size and number, fill the traveler with amazement and terror,” - 
John Filson speaking of herds in northern Kentucky in 1784

Nothing can stir the American spirit quite like the image of  a thousand American bison roaming the great Midwestern plains. When it came to navigating the land and water in North America, herds of American bison, commonly called American buffalo, were some of the surest natives to accomplish the task, cutting huge thoroughfares from seasonal migrations and paths between salt licks and feeding grounds. These traces, as they were called, made by thousands of hoofs instinctively traveling the best routes along watersheds and crest ridges, avoiding the most hazardous winter snowdrifts and lower housings of summer muck, were also utilized by native American Indians as warrior paths and hunting grounds. 

Typically traced from the north and south, there were a few key east-west buffalo trails, such as the Cumberland Gap through the Blue Ridge Mountains to upper Kentucky. Where these trails would be used by explorers and dually adopted by the pioneers years later, these paths would eventually become the permanent residence of the great American railways. Indeed without these trails the rise and subjugation of the Western Territories to the Pacific would not have been possible at such an alarming rate. 

While the devastation of commercial hunting and slaughter of the American buffalo in the 19th century nearly caused extinction, the image and legacy of these buffalo and the trails they traced still live on, no doubt so eloquently in the fantastic American spirit, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon. The name is quite befitting not simply due to the legends it harkens back toward, but also because it is produced by the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Ky, a wonderful American distillery, and the oldest distilling site in the U.S., which produces such brands as Eagle Rare, Sazerac Rye and Elmer T. Lee.

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon:

Price: Around $20.00 for a 750ml bottle.

Packaging/Labeling: Fairly modern and unique, yet not over the top. It’s been growing on me. I really like the green cork topper.

Alcoholic Content: 90 Proof, 45% ABV. 

Nose: A tightly woven and strong nose – big corn and brown sugar with rye and light toffee. There is a cherry cola note with spices and honey. I also think of dandelion and burdock.

Tasting: The front palette is very satisfying. Oak and warm honey, yet it is not overly sweet nor does the spiciness of the rye overpower. It still has the corn of the front palette which makes its way into a floral creaminess which develops into more wooden bitters oak licorice on the finish.

Conclusion: Even with the syrupy thickness, nothing comes about overbearing, and as I said, it feels in control. This is very pleasant and well worth purchasing at such a reasonable price. This is a wonderful sipping whiskey and, as I just experienced, goes well with a meaty meal!

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