Review: Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Review: Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is the signature, namesake whiskey of Buffalo Trace Distillery, and as such, it better taste good. Well, like Wild Turkey 101, the company behind Buffalo Trace, or BT, pays a lot of attention to the production of its eponymous bourbon. And having spent many hours with Master Distiller Harlan Wheatley, I can assure you, dear reader, that a bottle of Buffalo Trace is made with as much care as a bottle of George T. Stagg.

OK, maybe not quite as much care, but care nonetheless.

Today we’re filling a glaring hole in Drinkhacker’s bourbon coverage by finally reviewing this easy-to-find and much-loved bottle. It’s a NAS bourbon (reportedly 8 years old), reportedly made with BT’s iconic low-rye mashbill #1. (That’s all conjecture, however; the company is mute on any such details.)

Anyway, with all that said, let’s dive in.

Buffalo Trace is gently sweet from the start, a real crowd-pleaser that’s hard not to like. On the nose, butterscotch candy and caramel corn battle for supremacy; there’s ample youth here (it comes across as closer to a 5 year old whiskey than an 8 year old), but it’s wholly approachable, just riding the line between youth and maturity. The palate slightly favors the popcorn, though it’s coated with brown butter and a bit of cinnamon, together giving it more nuance and pop than you might otherwise expect. Alcoholic heat rears its head from time to time, again a hallmark of youth, but also a side effect of BT’s choice of bottling this whiskey at a slightly higher 90 proof. The mildly racy conclusion, combined with the corn-heavy attack, gives the whiskey a frontier character that certainly puts you in the mood for an old timey poker game… or perhaps even a barfight. Giddyap!

90 proof.


Buffalo Trace Bourbon




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Scott Worthington on August 12, 2019 at 7:20 am

    Not so easy to find. Nearly impossible to find in North Carolina, just like everything from Buffalo Trace. My local ABC store, owned and operated by the state, has a waiting list. About 4-6 months to get your one bottle

  2. Clark Wikoff on August 12, 2019 at 11:22 am

    B+ really? Since when is does an underproofed, very average bottle of bourbon score an 85?

    Let’s see, according to your logic, Bookers shiny barrel is only 5% better than buffalo trace. Elijah BP 519, Jefferson’s cask strength and Bookers Kentucky Chew are only 10% better.

    Put this bottle where it belongs or perhaps get out of the review biz…lol an 85.

    • Christopher Null on August 12, 2019 at 11:31 am

      Essentially we grade on a curve here; it becomes exponentially harder to move up each grade rank. Value is also a factor in our grading.

  3. Paul Grabarek on August 12, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. Very serious distillery, with a pleasant atmosphere and people. Without a doubt some of the most rewarding bourbon made.
    Paul Grabarek

  4. Ben on August 12, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    I’ve had DH bookmarked for several years. I don’t ever bother to comment on anything but I guess this post is as good as any to mention that this is my favorite liquor-oriented blog. I enjoy your write-ups; it’s fun to read your reviews on everything under the sun, even books. For what it’s worth, coming from a random guy on the internet, keep up the good work!

  5. Christopher Null on August 12, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks, Ben!

  6. Keith Haze on August 26, 2019 at 7:19 am

    We get one shipment every six weeks here in South Carolina. They sell out immediately because this whiskey is treated like the cure for cancer. We did a blind taste test and it came in fourth against Medley Brothers, Old Forester 100, and the winner Evan Williams Single barrel. With over a 150 total voters. That has not at all slowed the insane demand behind this value bourbon.

  7. Bigpoppa on December 28, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    Agree completely, average at best, our local supermarkets bourbon is completely more satisfying, was bought as a Christmas gift in the UK so I cant
    really complain but not a bottle I would buy myself.

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