Today I finally found some relaxing moments to start tasting one of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection Samples. I will start as stated with the Eagle Rare 17 version. While most of the samples were bottled in 2010, this one is bottled in 2009 (2010 version sold out at the time we, or better Sjoerd, my Dutch colleague blogger ordered them in). The Eagle Rare is a Straight Kentucky Bourbon and bottled at 45% ABV and considered the most consistent one of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. The availability of this collection is scarce in the Netherlands, so you will not find them easily at your local liquor store. Time to start. The glass I used this time is a tasting glass from Hennesy. The colour of the dram is a light amber gold.
Nose: When you pour the whiskey you instantly will be getting sweetness in your nose, more or less like a candied apple and some toffee combined with some vanilla and honey. The sweetness is very strong. I am not getting much else then these mentioned flavors. You could say somewhat simple, but hey it is not unpleasant.
Taste: So let’s see if the taste has something more to offer. Well it is a smooth taste, again the sweetness is in the lead but finally there is more going on. You will get some herbs like mint that will accompany the sweet rum like taste (liquorice). The taste is still very sweet but mellowed down in the sweetness of some fresh strawberries like sweetness. Somehow I am getting a feeling of minty chocolate stuffed orange marmalade. The taste is more balanced then the nose to my opinion but still the sweetness comes first.
Finish: Not very long and full of honeyed mellow sweetness. It is a nice dram to keep a while swirling around in your mouth, diluting it and getting some dry woodiness in your mouth. The sweetness will disappear somewhat followed by a medium dry somewhat roasted sugared almond flavored spicy finish.
Balance: After the somewhat overpowering sweetness of the nose (I am not sure if it is to my liking for a whiskey), the taste and finish balances out all right. It will serve as a good after dinner dram I think, but regarding the prices asked for this bourbon (Master of malt : GBP 90) it is to me overpriced. It is not a bad whiskey but I do not think it will make it on my most favorite list.