Whisky Advocate

Buffalo Trace releases newest Experimental Collection whiskeys

August 24th, 2010

There were several new whiskey releases announced while I was out of the office last week. I’ll get you up to speed on all of them over the next few days.

First up: the two newest Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection whiskeys. Details are below in the press release I received. I tasted both (a few times) informally over the weekend and I like both of them. (Formal review to follow soon.) The contrast between the two is striking.



French Oak Barrel Aged and American Oak Chips Seasoned Whiskeys are Latest in the Collection

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (Aug. 18, 2010) – After more than 15 years in the barrel, Buffalo Trace Distillery releases the two latest whiskeys in its highly acclaimed Experimental Collection – a French oak barrel aged whiskey and an American oak chips seasoned whiskey. This experiment explores the differences between whiskey that has been aged in a new toasted French oak barrel, versus whiskey aged in a used American white oak barrel that has been seasoned with toasted oak chips. “It’s incredibly exciting to see how experiments like this will turn out, and we’re thrilled to offer these two whiskeys after 15 years,” said Kris Comstock, brand manager for Buffalo Trace.

Both whiskeys were put up April 7, 1995 on the eighth floor of Warehouse K.  Details are as follows:

  • 1995 French Oak Barrel Aged: This barrel was filled on April 7, 1995 and bottled July 21, 2010. Buffalo Trace Rye Bourbon Mash Bill #2 was used and the product entered the barrel at 125 proof. After more than 15 years and 3 months of aging, the new toasted French Oak barrel added rich complexity and interesting flavors to this whiskey. The result is a leathery and woody whiskey that has a good depth with a dark, dry finish.
  • 1995 American Oak Chips Seasoned: This barrel was filled on April 7, 1995 with Buffalo Trace Rye Bourbon Mash Bill #2 and toasted oak chips were added. After more than 15 years and 4 months of aging, this whiskey was bottled on August 5, 2010. The whiskey in this charred American White Oak barrel derived a smoky complexity from the toasted oak chip seasoning. It is a lighter whiskey for its age and has a good flavor without being heavy.  

“Our Experimental Collection always allows us the opportunity to say “what if… and then to try it and see what happens,” said Harlen Wheatley, master distiller, Buffalo Trace Distillery. “It’s always great to learn from these experiments and see what works and what doesn’t. And the excitement from our fans as we release a new offering is always gratifying.”

There are more than 1,500 experimental barrels of whiskey now aging in the warehouses of Buffalo Trace Distillery. Each of these barrels has unique characteristics making it different from all others. Some examples of these experiments include unique mash bills, type of wood, and barrel toasts. In order to further increase the scope, flexibility and range of the experimental program, an entire micro distillery complete with cookers, fermenting tanks and a state of the art micro still has been constructed within Buffalo Trace Distillery.

The Experimental Collection will be packaged in 375ml bottles. Each label will include all the pertinent information unique to that barrel of whiskey. These whiskeys will be released in August 2010 and retail for approximately $46.35 each. Each experiment is very rare and very limited. For more information on the Experimental Collection or the other products of Buffalo Trace Distillery, please contact Kris Comstock at

8 Responses to “Buffalo Trace releases newest Experimental Collection whiskeys”

  1. WildmanDan says:

    Living in Connecticut, do I even have a dream of finding these at retail price? Similarly, what is my best strategy for finding the various Buffalo Trace fall releases (BTAC, Pappys, etc.) in Connecticut? I’m relatively new to the Bourbon world and would like to sample as many of these as possible without having to pay the insane markups in the resale market.



    • Larry says:

      I emailed the contacts at Buffalo Trace and they basically said good luck. I’m in the Boston area and am asking the stores with the best selection if they’ll be getting their hands on any of it.

  2. Mr Manhattan says:

    In my experience, it generally helps to be a ‘special customer’ at stores which expect to get allocations. That’s where it’s going to go. You won’t see it on the shelf. And it may get marked up. Unlike the BT Antiques, which some stores initially marked way up when they were first released and then which came down in price as demand slacked, there’s precious little of each Experimental bottling to go around.


  3. JWC says:

    I’ve seen the BTEC’s but for about 50% over MSRP. Accordingly they moved fairly slowly. I’m also a big fan of BT’s limited releases (BTAC and Pappy line). I’ll second the recommendations of others – let the store know that you are interested and convince them that you will be a good customer. If you are interested in the BTAC and Pappy stuff, you should also keep your eyes out for this year’s Parker’s Heritage Collection (a wheater). It’s already gotten great reviews. Unfortunately, it will be very limited. Good luck!

  4. Lee says:

    I always look forward to these. Thanks for posting.

  5. Jason Pyle says:

    I like it when these big boys dip their toe in the water. Unfortunately they ONLY dip their toe in the water. They are slower and adhere to aging their bourbons until “mature”, which means different things to different distilleries. Hopefully many were paying attention years ago and we’ll be seeing these “experimental” products more frequently and in quantities that us mere mortals can hope to access in the coming years.

  6. c says:

    I am a retailer in Ky and don’t even see any. One time they sent us some on accident and Southern had guys run out here like Men in Black wanting it back and wanting to erase our memory of ever seeing it so I wish you luck in finding it. Every year we ask our salesman and they act like they don’t know what we are talking about. Southern and Republic who handles it now love to kiss the ass of the the Party Barn and Liquor Outlets, so may have to go to bog box liq store-don’t care much about the little guys. Oh well we’ll keep selling parker beam and 23yr Pappy all year and you can keep your buffalo a secret only liquor outlets hear about. The Maker’s Mark school of limited release and limited product is a slap in the face to the consumer.

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