Whisky Advocate

Review: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection “Twice Barreled”

November 6th, 2009

136Both of these whiskeys were re-barreled into new charred oak barrels. The difference is that one is just older than the other (11-plus years versus 16-plus years). Full details on each bottling are here. I love these experiments! They push the extremes, open our eyes, and create excitement.




Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection “Double Barreled,” 1997 Vintage, 45%, $47

Nice effort overall. My gut feeling is that this whiskey might have been better a couple years ago, but I wouldn’t call the second barrel impact excessive. It’s rich and smooth, with sweeter notes of caramel, rich vanilla and subtle candied fruit, underpinned by firm spice (especially cinnamon) which kicks in on the finish. It comes across as very traditional bourbon with perhaps a little extra oak impact on the back end.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 88

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection “Double Barreled,” 1993 Vintage, 45%, $47

A big bourbon in many respects, but this is one whiskey where I would have happily settled for a “Single Barreled.” To be honest, there are some good qualities to this whiskey. The nose is wonderful! (I tasted this whiskey straight from the barrel right before it was bottled and it was more aggressive. I think the lower strength and chill-filtering has helped to tame this beast.) Even the palate starts out fine, with chewy toffee, molasses, dark fruit, raisin and dates. But it is quickly consumed by intensely dry oak spice, gripping resin, and leather which clings to my tongue and won’t let go. In this instance, last impressions are lasting impressions.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 71

3 Responses to “Review: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection “Twice Barreled””

  1. JWC says:

    Ok, John, both sound very interesting and I am interested. Now for the age old question: how/where can I buy them? I just ran ragged getting bottles of the 2009 BTAC WLW and Stagg (4 bottles each – to last me till next year).

  2. […] Hansell is on another American whiskey kick.  This week he rolls out tasting notes on the Buffalo Trace  Antique Collection “Double Barreled.” He gives good marks to the 1997 vintage, and one of the lowest ratings I’ve seen to the […]

  3. John Hansell says:

    JWC, you should be able to get these whiskeys the same place you got the 2009 BTAC whiskeys. They are, after all, from the same distillery. If that fails, I suggest you reach out to one of the specialty whisky retailers listed in Malt Advocate and on the MA website.

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