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Archives for : September2016

Buffalo Trace announces a new rare bottle lineup we had never heard about.

Sounds like we really don’t need to worry about hunting for this one until the Spring of 2017.  Thank goodness, I’m already broke and it’s not even October!

BUFFALO TRACE DISTILLERY INTRODUCES O.F.C. RANGE OF VERY RARE AND COLLECTABLE VINTAGE-DATED BOURBONS

 

First Offering Only Available to Non Profits for Fundraising Efforts

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (September 21, 2016) This fall, Buffalo Trace Distillery will release three unique vintage-dated bourbons honoring the National Historic Landmark’s original name – the O.F.C. Distillery. During Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr’s tenure, the O.F.C. Distillery was renowned for producing top class whiskey. The first vintages of O.F.C. Bourbon Whiskey coming in November are sure to be collector’s items and will be offered exclusively to non-profit organizations at no charge to raise money for their causes.  Although these rare whiskeys will not be available in stores or bars and restaurants, later vintages will be released to the overall market starting in the Spring of 2017.

All of the O.F.C. collection releases will be vintage dated according to the specific year in which the bourbon was distilled at Buffalo Trace Distillery. Each hand-cut crystal bottle will feature the vintage year on the label.

The first release is comprised of only 200 bottles; 100 bottles from the year 1980, 50 bottles from 1982, and 50 bottles from 1983.  Future releases will unveil whiskeys from the 1990s, including a 1993 vintage and several consecutive vintage years thereafter. Subsequent O.F.C. releases will follow year after year as vintages are produced and reach maturity.

Straight Bourbon whiskey must be aged in oak for at least two years, but these O.F.C. releases matured much longer. Recipe and age will vary by vintage, but many are expected to mature for twenty years or more. Barrels are evaluated regularly and some whiskey will be removed from the barrels as taste reaches the peak of flavor.

The packaging for O.F.C. matches the splendor of the whiskey itself, in lead free crystal bottles with detailed fluting engraved into the mold. Glass artisans cut the shoulder facets using equipment created exclusively for Buffalo Trace Distillery.  Each bottle then is manually polished to achieve maximum glass brilliance before in-laying cut copper lettering to spell out “O.F.C.” on the front.  A paper label is then hand applied below with the vintage prominently noted, along with a label on the back of the bottle noting the milestones for the vintage year of the bottle.  For example, the 1980 label memorializes the U.S. Ice Hockey team’s stunning victory over the Soviet Union, along with pop culture happenings and Ronald Reagan’s presidential election.  The bottle is then given one last polish for the ultimate premium presentation, while a cork stopper with a copper top adorns the top of the bottle to finish out this stunning bottle.

This bottle is a replica of an O.F.C. decanter dating back to the early 1900s found in the Buffalo Trace Distillery archives.  Equally as impressive as the bottle is the display box in which the bourbon is presented. The dark wooden box prominently bears the O.F.C. name in copper, along with a copper plaque depicting the year the bourbon was distilled. Upon opening the revolving door on the wooden case, the bottle is proudly displayed on a small riser, commanding attention as its prized possession is revealed. A provenance card is inside each display box, containing the same information found on the back label. Finally, each box is then packaged in a tasteful cream colored bag to protect it from any damage before placing it into the shipping boxes. 

Non-profit organizations located in the United States who are interested in obtaining a bottle to use as a fundraiser for their charity should visit http://ofcvintages.com/ to fill out an application.  To be considered, organizations must submit an official U.S. non-profit tax ID number and use the bottle for fundraising purposes only. Applications will be taken online only and recipients of the bottles shall be notified by email by November 1st, 2016, at which time bottles will be shipped free of charge. Charities will have until March 1st, 2017 to auction their bottle and report back to Buffalo Trace Distillery how much money was raised.

      This is the second time Buffalo Trace Distillery has partnered with non-profit organizations to raise money. In 2011, the Distillery gave away 174 bottles of its Millennium Barrel, the last bourbon barrel filled on the last day of the last century. In total more than $150,000 was raised for various charities across the United States, with the top organization raising more than $7,000 for their cause. 

      “These vintages are certainly unique and special whiskeys. We hope this O.F.C. collection can pay tribute to the many years gone by here at the Distillery. Each vintage has a story to tell indeed,” stated Kris Comstock from Buffalo Trace Distillery.  “To offer this first release to charitable organizations for their fundraising efforts makes this even more rewarding. We expect bottles to raise upwards of $10,000 each for worthy causes.”

Collectors interested in a chance to participate in a fundraiser can start checking the website in November http://ofcvintages.com/ for a list of non-profit organizations who will receive bottles for fundraisers.

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1786 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won seven distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named Whisky Magazine 2010 World Icons of Whisky “Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year.” Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 200 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracedistillery.com.  To download images from Buffalo Trace Distillery visit http://www.buffalotracedistillery.com/media

Review of 2016 Sazerac 18

First off I would like to thank Buffalo Trace for providing me samples of the 2016 Antique Collection.  I have tried all of them, and will post the other 4 later, but I felt like Saz 18 needed its own review.

See, for starters, Sazerac 18 is my baby.  She has been my baby since we met in the Fall of 2014.  I stumbled across a store employee at Total Wine looking for shelf space for a Sazerac 18.  How and why it was making it’s way to a shelf, I will never know.  But luck was on my side, we met, she came home with me, and our relationship has been steady ever since.  Over the course of the past 2 years I’ve come across a few bottles of Saz 18, always drinking them, often with my good buddies in the neighborhood.  To me, Saz 18 was the one drink I wanted people to try when they came to my house.  Oh I have plenty of good bourbon, aged, barrel-proof, etc.  But Saz 18 was the one that always reeled them in.  Their faces when that finish hit was what I always loved seeing.

Sazerac 18 had the perfect nose, taste, and finish.  It was my favorite ‘whiskey’ since I first tried it in 2014.  By far, the best finish of anything I have ever had.     I always told people it made me think I was a termite eating a caramel wooden staircase.  The finish lasted forever.  Such a perfect whiskey.

And Buffalo Trace knew it.  Back in 2003 when they tried the Saz 18 (debatable about who actually distilled it), they knew it was perfect and immediately threw it into giant steel tanks to stop it’s aging.  Since that time, every release of Saz 18 has been the same tanked stuff.  Always awesome, always the same, until now.

The tanked Sazerac 18 ran dry last year, and this year was the first year of Buffalo Trace’s new distilled Saz.  Of all the 5 Antique Collection bottles, this one has the most interest.  And with only 2500 bottles released this year, it’s also going to be the hardest to find (not that it wasn’t already).

saz2

When I sat down with my Saz, I went immediately for a side by side with 2015.  Buffalo Trace sends most people samples in 50ml plastic bottles (less than 2 ounces).  I knew my 3 bourbon buddies needed to try it as well, so I had very small pours.  I did a side by side the first night.  I repeated it the next night with one of my buddies.  Then two days later, I repeated it with the other 2 buddies.  I did the side by side 3 times, my other buddies each did it once.

And….

 

well…

 

It was a very disappointing conclusion.

 

The new Saz 18 is not as good as the tanked stuff, not even close.

 

None of us got a very good nose from it, there just wasn’t much there.  Contrast that to the tanked Saz that you could smell from a mile away.  It’s definitely lighter than the old stuff and has a thinner mouthfeel.  The taste is similar, and it’s good.  Nice old spice and some caramel sweetness on the palette are reminiscent of the old stuff.  But it’s the finish that really breaks down.  Whereas the tanked Saz had that wonderful finish that lingered forever, this new stuff had an almost bitter finish, and definitely ethanol is the predominant taste that lingers.  I figured something had to be wrong, so I repeated my side by side two more times and it was the exact same.  We all felt the same way.  Nose is off, taste is good, finish is bad.

Now, if I wasn’t comparing to the tanked stuff, maybe it would be ok.  I didn’t have enough to try in that way.  A 50ml sample bottle doesn’t go far in my house (and after this review I may never get any more anyway).  All I know is what I love is gone, and what’s left is not something I care to continue a relationship with.

Overall Score: C+

sazs

 

Diageo announces next Orphan Barrel, Whoop and Holler.

Diageo has announced the release of their next Orphan Barrel, a 28 year old American Whiskey (not a bourbon) called Whoop and Holler.  Essentially it is 28 year old whiskey from the George Dickel distillery.  It is going to be a 1 time release with an MSRP of $175.

I will be receiving a sample and will post a review next week.  Stay tuned!

WhoopHoller_FactSheetv2

Buffalo Trace announces 2016 Antique Collection

The annual Buffalo Trace Antique Collection press release came out today.  Some interesting notes:

Stagg is 144.1 proof this year, that’s crazy high!  As usual, there wasn’t much, so it’s going to be hard as heck to find again.

Sazerac 18 is now current product instead of the tanked product from 2004-2015.  Can’t wait to try it!

 

BUFFALO TRACE DISTILLERY RELEASES

2016 ANTIQUE COLLECTION WHISKEYS

 

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (Sept. 7, 2016) It’s the best time of the year for whiskey fans, as Buffalo Trace Distillery releases its 2016 Antique Collection. The highly anticipated collection will once again feature five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs. Here’s what ardent fans can expect:

George T. Stagg

The powerhouse favorite of the Antique Collection, George T. Stagg weighs in at a hefty 144.1 proof this year.  Past releases of this uncut and unfiltered bourbon won many top awards, including twice named the number one spirit in the world by F. Paul Pacult’s The Spirit Journal. This year’s release contains bourbon from barrels filled in the spring of 2001. This batch contained 142 barrels, but not as many bottles as expected, due to some very greedy angels!  Storage location of these barrels varied across warehouses M, N, H, L and K.  Finding a bottle this fall will be difficult due to the low yield.  This whiskey tastes of dark chocolate, coffee and vanilla.

William Larue Weller

The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon is William Larue Weller. Previous editions of this wheater have won many accolades, including the “Bourbon of the Year” by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016 edition. The 2016 offering was distilled in the spring of 2003 and aged on the third and sixth floors of Warehouses D, K, and L.  This bourbon registers in at 135.4 proof – one of the stronger Weller releases.  The bold flavors include plum, figs and vanilla.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye

Thomas H. Handy is the uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. The 2015 edition was named “Best American Rye Whiskey” at the 2016 World Whiskies Awards.  This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2010; aged on the fourth, fifth and seventh floors of Warehouses I, K, and M, and weighs in at 126.2 proof.  The flavor has been described as toffee and cinnamon.

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old

The previous edition of this bourbon was honored with a Silver Outstanding Medal at the 2015 International Wine and Spirits Competition. The 2016 edition has been aging on the first, second and third floors of Warehouses H and K.  This 90 proof bourbon was aged for seventeen years and tastes of leather, vanilla, tobacco and toffee.

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old

Last year Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old was named the Best Rye Whiskey 11 Years and Older by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016 edition.  This 2016 straight rye whiskey release has notable flavors of smoke, clove and all-spice with a dry finish.  The barrels for this whiskey were filled in April of 1998, making them the first “new” batch in years not drawn from the stainless steel tank as the previous past few editions have been.  From this year onward, this whiskey will be drawn directly from barrels put away for 18 years, versus using any tanked whiskey.

The Antique Collection was introduced more than a decade ago and has become a cult favorite among whiskey connoisseurs. Since 2000 these whiskeys have garnered numerous awards from such notable publications as Whisky Advocate Magazine, Spirit Journal, and Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

The 2016 Antique Collection whiskeys will be available in limited quantities starting in late September or early October.  Suggested retail price is $90 each.  For more information visit http://www.buffalotracedistillery.com/brands/antique-collection.

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1773 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won 17 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named “Brand Innovator of the Year” by Whisky Magazine at its Icons of Whisky America Awards 2015.  Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 300 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracedistillery.com.  To download images from Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracemediakit.com