Buffalo Trace Bourbon Review

Buffalo Trace's namesake bourbon is produced from an undisclosed mash bill, commonly accepted to be their Mash Bill 1. This is also known as their "low rye" mash bill and thought to contain less than 10% rye and therefore presumably, mostly corn. The amount of time that Buffalo Trace Bourbon is aged is undisclosed, but is thought to be around 8 years. Learn more about this bourbon and the history of Buffalo Trace Distillery in our Buffalo Trace Bourbon Review!
Buffalo Trace
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
45% ABV, 90 Proof
Distilled, aged & bottled by Buffalo Trace Distillery
Franklin County, KY
Age: NAS (but probably ~8 years)
MSRP: ~$26, but actual sales price and availability vary by location
Review & History

Please enjoy our Buffalo Trace Bourbon Review, and learn a bit of Buffalo Trace Distillery history, too!

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Buffalo Trace Distillery – The Oldest Continually Operating Distillery in the U.S.

As the story goes, Buffalo Trace Distillery sits on the route where, back in the day, buffalo crossed the Kentucky River. In days of yore, an animal path was called a “trace”, and hence how Buffalo Trace Distillery got its name. Today, it claims the title of the oldest continuously operating distillery in America and is a National Historic Landmark.

Front Label - Buffalo Trace Bourbon Review
Buffalo Trace Bourbon Review
Buffalo Trace Has A Long & Complex History

Very detailed information on Buffalo Trace Distillery’s history is in its filing for the National Register of Historic Places. Much of my information comes from that. There are also timelines of their history on Buffalo Trace’s and Distillery Trail’s websites.

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The First Commercial Distillery Began Operation in 1858

Daniel Swigert built the first commercial distillery on the site and began operation in 1858. The distillery rapidly changed hands multiple times and was soon owned by E.H. Taylor Jr, who renamed it the O.F.C. (Old Fire Copper) Distillery in 1869 or 1870. Taylor built an upgraded version of the distillery in 1872-1873. Soon after, in 1878, George T. Stagg purchased the O.F.C Distillery, although Taylor remained involved. The partnership and change in ownership with Stagg was mainly due to Taylor’s monetary difficulties. The OFC Distillery burned in 1882 and was rebuilt in 1883. In 1904, the O.F.C. Distillery was renamed the George T. Stagg Distillery.

In the meantime, an additional distillery, the Carlisle Distillery, was built on the same site in 1879-1880 and subsequently renamed the Kentucky River Distillery in 1898.

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Review - Bottles
Buffalo Trace Bourbon Review & History
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The George T. Stagg Distillery Operated Through Prohibition

The George T. Stagg Distillery operated through Prohibition under a medicinal license and was purchased by what would become Schenley Distillers in 1929. From 1935-1937 a new state of the art distillery complex was constructed. The distillery was renamed the Ancient Age Distilling Company in 1969. The final change of ownership came in 1992 when the Sazerac Company purchased the distillery. Sazerac changed the distillery’s name to Buffalo Trace Distillery in 1999 and launched its namesake brand. The rest, as they say, is history.

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Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Buffalo Trace bourbon has an undisclosed mash bill, commonly accepted to be their Mash Bill #1. This is also known as their “low rye” mash bill and thought to contain less than 10% rye. It therefore is presumably, mostly corn. The amount of time that Buffalo Trace Bourbon is aged is undisclosed, but is thought to be around 8 years.

Tasting Notes – Buffalo Trace Bourbon Review

Let’s taste it:

🛌 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉Nose: Apple, pear, a bit of sweet cherry; sweet, with honey, light oak and leather; moderate alcohol
👉Taste: Soft with mild apple, caramel, vanilla & cherry; moderately sweet with light honey and brown sugar; there’s also a bit of oak and char later on
👉Finish: Some white pepper spice develops as well as a little dryness and some barrel char further along; the other flavors linger too, but eventually fade; moderately long finish with a relatively mild burn.

Buffalo Trace Bourbon is very easy to drink. It has many of the classic bourbon flavors, although probably a bit more fruit. I often get apple and pear flavors from many of Buffalo Trace’s bourbons that have aged less than 10 years, and that is happening here.

After my first sip, I notice some additional flavors in the nose. That is when the leather starts to become noticeable.

Conclusion

Overall, Buffalo Trace Bourbon is a very pleasant bourbon and one that I often recommend to people starting out. However, availability depends on where one lives. It can be fairly easy to find at a reasonable price in some places and downright next to impossible in others.

Are you a Buffalo Trace Bourbon fan?

We hope you have enjoyed our Buffalo Trace Bourbon Review! Would you like to learn about another one of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s sought after bourbons? Check out our Blanton’s Bourbon Review!

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