Whisky Advocate

Review: Eagle Rare 17 yr. old (2009 release)

October 1st, 2009

This whiskey is part of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s “Antique Collection.”  I’ll be reviewing the entire collection (five whiskeys total) over the next few weeks, live on Twitter (@JohnHansell), as I did this one yesterday, and then posting the review up here on WDJK. I’ll also be comparing these whiskeys to last year’s releases.

Eagle Rare 17 year old (2009 release), 45%, $65
Dry, spicy, and leathery on the nose, with candied fruit and toffee. Similar on the palate, but the dryness takes a more demonstrable role, especially towards the finish—leather, dried vanilla, warming cinnamon, brittle mint, with some candied fruit, toffee and molasses struggling to prop it all up. Bottom line here: this year’s offering has less of the richness, fullness, lush fruitiness and sweetness that balanced all the dried spice and leather notes the past two years (which I rated both a 94). Still a nice whiskey, but a slight setback for Eagle Rare 17 yr. old.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 84

8 Responses to “Review: Eagle Rare 17 yr. old (2009 release)”

  1. TheGentleman says:

    Wow…I’d say that’s an underperformance by their usual standard.

  2. Gary says:

    That’s too bad on the eagle Rare 17 yo.I’ll have to see if I can find a 2008.

  3. John Hansell says:

    Or even a 2007, Gary. Both were really good.

  4. JW says:

    ouch! eagle rare 17 getting a mid-80’s? good thing i just got 2 bottles of the 2008 eagle rare 17 yo. i guess the 1 bottle per customer limit is not going to be bothering me too much this year.

  5. John Hansell says:

    JW, if you got two bottles from last year, you are in great shape!

  6. K says:

    I just started drinking Eagle Rare. I was on IW Harpers 12 yr but it seems I cant get it in America. I am loving it so far and I have only tried the 10 yr.

  7. Jim Molnar says:

    ER17 is still my favorite, even over Van Winkle 20 Family Reserve and Stagg. Along with some good friends we had a side-by-side taste test of ’08, ’09, and ’10 along with the VW & Stagg during a recent camping trip. The ’08 clearly the best; smooth clean. The ’09 bottle a good 10 points lower, not as smooth. But the ’10 bottle was back up to snufff, almost as good as the ’08. Just picked up an ’11 bottle and will taste soon while my memory is fresh. I still have a bit of ’08 left. I gave the two bottles of ’10 we had to my camping buddies. You can find it if you are lucky and stay in touch with the retailers.

  8. Jim Molnar says:

    I found another ’10 and a couple of ’11 bottles so this week I opened the ’11. Wow, the 2011 bottling is even smoother than the 2008. It hits your mouth with intense flavor and then the barrel just lingers in the back of your throat. I’m going to collect all the ’11 bottles I can find.

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