Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2010 Edition

For the third year running, we’re fortunate enough to check out Buffalo Trace’s limited release editions of five highly-sought-after whiskeys. No change to the lineup, name-wise, from the 2008 and 2009 editions, although what’s inside the bottles is, as always, just a little bit different. On the whole, this year’s whiskeys, in fact, are some of the best renditions yet. Get ‘em while they last!

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old – An outstanding entry this year. Sazerac’s 18 Year (rye, with corn and barley in the mash) features a misleadingly mellow nose, but take a sip and it positively attacks the palate with huge rye notes. Gorgeous incense, burnt sugar, and flowery lavender notes are in abundance. Sweet and spice are in perfect balance here, and the overall whiskey is much more effective and perfected than 2009’s edition. A masterpiece of the rye world. 90 proof. A

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old Bourbon – Another hit from Eagle Rare, but the finish is very dry and woody, still a bit like gnawing on a stick. Again it’s not quite back at the pinnacle of 2008’s release, but at least it’s comparatively easy-drinking compared to some of the alcohol bombs in this lineup. 90 proof, again. A-

George T. Stagg Bourbon – Always the showstopper, this year’s Stagg is a bruising 143 proof. This edition of the Bourbon is 17 years and 7 months old and it’s a classic as usual. Cut it down and you get the essence of wood up front, with a smooth, creme brulee, cinnamon, and apple pie finish. It’s as American as playing baseball and being too lazy to vote. Another winner that you’ll savor all night. A

William Larue Weller Bourbon – Back down in proof to 126.6, but still hotter than Hades. 12 years and 3 months old, making it a bit more austere than 2008 and 2009. This one absolutely demands water, at which point it reveals nothing but caramel all over the place. 2009’s Weller was full of fruit character;  in this one the fruit takes a back seat, but it still makes itself known in the finish. Much better balance, once it’s cut down to size. The best Weller I’ve had in awhile. A-

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac – Another rye/corn/barley blend, at 126.9 proof, aged 6 years and 3 months. Handy is always the underdog of this lineup, and compared to the Sazerac rye, it’s short. While it’s extremely hot (and very sweet), the body is muted in comparison to Sazerac’s well-aged masterwork. The honeyed character grows on you, but it lacks that punch and kick that really good rye ought to have. B

about $65 each / greatbourbon.com


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14 Responses to Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2010 Edition

  1. ARRRGGGG! Ive been waiting for these to come out all year. Damn you and your samples. Glad to see everything is still awesome. Cant wait to get my hands on the Eagle Rare and George T. Stagg.

  2. So for whatever reason, this years collection is priced $10-20 higher than previous years. Or at least thats what Ive heard from buyers.

  3. All the bottles of this set are $80 at the local Binny’s in Chicago. I got the STAGG but am a little afraid to open it!

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  5. $75 for Stagg at Total Wine & More in South Florida

  6. Finally got my Stagg and a bottle of Pappy 20yr! I was just wondering how much water you cut your Stagg with Chris?

  7. I just add it, drop by drop, until it’s there.

  8. Picked up Stagg and Eagle Rare the other day. It sold out shortly after. I havent opened the ER but finally tasted Stagg for the first time after waiting 2 years. No water added and Holy Smoke, it goes down like 80 proof liquid caramel candy…its that smooth without water. This stuff puts my Pappy 20 and 15 to shame. Frankly, tasting this ruined all other whiskeys for me.

  9. ran around and managed to snag 4 of the 5 (just missing the sazerac). now the hard part, bringing myself to open a bottle

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  11. My first sample of ER17 was a 2008 bottle tasted in spring 2009. It was the smoothest bourbon I’d ever tasted and I’ve lusted for more ever since. Today I found two bottles of the 2010 batch and just sampled it – wow. The opening smell is harsh but after the first taste it mellows right out. It was all I could do to just sip. Other reviews say the 2008 was better but that is hard to believe. Woodford Reserve has been the best available to me but now that has been put to shame. Tonight I may be able to do side-by-side with Macallan 18 (I know, apples and oranges). More notes to come

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  13. Have you ever thought about creating an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.

  14. Pingback: Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2011 Edition » Drinkhacker.com

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