Bourbon Breakdown: Buffalo Trace Bourbon Brands

September 8, 2021

Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky offers a wide range of whiskeys, primarily in the bourbon family. In fact, it’s the world’s oldest continuously operating distillery in the US having made whiskey for over 200 years. And while the eponymous Buffalo Trace Bourbon is a perfect introductory bourbon, there are others in the distillery’s portfolio to try if you’re looking for older and higher proof offerings.

Today we’ll go over a few of the core Buffalo Trace Bourbon brands with some key facts, tasting notes, and our Distiller’s Community Rating. We’ll cover the other bourbon collections in the distillery’s arsenal such as E.H. Taylor, Weller, and of course the coveted Van Winkle Collection in due time.

One thing to keep in mind is that the pricing of most Buffalo Trace Bourbon brands varies widely from the distillery’s suggested retail price. In fact, there are some areas where the demand has increased the price to several hundred dollars more than the SRP, if the retailer even has the bottle at all.

Buffalo Trace Distillery is doing its best to keep up with demand with its recent $1.2 billion expansion which includes more barrel warehouses, the construction of an additional still and adding more fermenters among other improvements. However, it’s still a few years away before the bourbon supply will be able to catch up with the demand. Until then, we must wait until the whiskey is ready.

Still, perhaps you’ll come across a retailer with a good supply of Buffalo Trace bourbon brands with a price you’re willing to pay. If you need a refresher on what’s inside the bottles, you’re in the right place.

Buffalo Trace Bourbon

This is the brand’s flagship bourbon which is made with a low-rye bourbon recipe.

What We Know:

This bourbon was released in honor of the renaming of Buffalo Trace Distillery in 1999 from George T. Stagg Distillery. Master Distiller Emeritus Elmer T. Lee came out of retirement to create the bourbon.

What Our Experts Think It Tastes Like:

Light spice, vanilla, caramel, apples and a touch of leather.

Avg US Price: $32
ABV: 45%
Community Rating: 3.68 out of 5 stars (10,614 Ratings)

Buffalo Trace Bourbon /Photo Credit: Buffalo Trace

Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon

This bourbon was created by Master Distiller Charles L. Beam in 1974 who was working for Seagram’s Four Roses Distillery. The Sazerac Company, owners of Buffalo Trace, bought the brand in 1989.

What We Know:

When the brand first launched, it was released as a batched bourbon at 101 proof. However, since 2005 it’s been released as single barrel bourbon. Aged a minimum of 10 years, it’s bottled at 90 proof.

What Our Experts Think It Tastes Like:

Fruit flavors and spices rounded by honey, caramel, milk chocolate and toasty oak.

Avg US Price: $58
ABV: 45%
Community Rating: 4.03 out of 5 stars (9,942 Ratings)

Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon

Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon

Then Master Distiller Elmer T. Lee released Blanton’s in 1984. At the time, it was the world’s first mass produced single barrel bourbon.

What We Know:

Each bottle contains one of eight collectible bottle stoppers featuring a horse and jockey in different strides of a horse race. They also spell out B-L-A-N-T-O-N-S (yes, the two “N”s are different).

What Our Experts Think It Tastes Like:

Vanilla, caramel and a hint of tobacco followed by toffee, chocolate and leather.

Avg US Price: $186
ABV: 46.5%
Community Rating: 4.29 out of 5 stars (10,336 Ratings)

Blanton’s Original Single Barrel

Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel

The aforementioned Elmer T. Lee got his own single barrel bourbon bottling upon his retirement in 1985. Lee continued on as Master Distiller Emeritus until his death in 2013.

What We Know:

Bottled at 90 proof, this single barrel bourbon is made with same bourbon recipe as Blanton’s

What Our Experts Think It Tastes Like:

An inviting baked apple crisp with vanilla ice cream.

Avg US Price: $406
ABV: 45%
Community Rating: 4.26 out of 5 stars (2,817 Ratings)

Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon

Like it’s older brother George T. Stagg, this is also an uncut and unfiltered bourbon offering a full flavor profile at a high octane proof.

What We Know:

Stagg Jr. is a recent addition to the Buffalo Trace lineup having just arrived in 2013. And while it has no age statement, the bourbon is around 8-9 years old. It’s released in batches, usually twice a year, so ABV will vary. Expect to find bottles around 65% ABV/130 proof.

What Our Experts Think It Tastes Like:

Big booming flavors of cinnamon, leather and cinnamon along with vanilla cupcakes and tannic oak.

Avg US Price: $312
ABV: 60-65%
Community Rating: 4.12 out of 5 stars (2,689 Ratings)

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 13 /Photo Credit: Buffalo Trace

Ready to do your own Buffalo Trace bourbon comparisons?

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