Tonight I’m going to taste another sample of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection and this time I am a little scared. Why? Well this sample of bourbon has a very high ABV of 71,5%, but I am going for it! The tasting glass is the good old Libbey Glass. The colour is a dark amber tone.
The nose: Carefully I bring myself to nose the glass and without inhaling to deep this one surprises me. I would expect a similar powerful more rum-like sweetness to overpower me, but that is not the case with this one. Oh yes, the bourbon sweetness as I found in the Eagle Rare is present, but in a gentler way. It has a more balanced sweetness in it accompanied with some spice (fresh basil leaves) influence and some fruity notes (pineapple, some dried orange peels). It is very beautiful nose.
The taste: When you take a sip immediate the high abv shows, at first it gives you an alcohol burn, but the sip is relatively easy to maintain some time in your mouth (while diluting it with saliva). It gives a warming feeling. I am getting a lot of flavours which I find difficult to describe. I think I am getting some coconut with wood /roasted nuts tones, but it is a very complex taste. It keeps your mind busy finding out what that is you taste.
Finish: Again not simple but quite complex, at first you get some alcohol-burn quickly followed by a dark but warming with nutmeg elements, some dry woodiness in it and a lot of pepper, which I usually like, but sometimes I get tears in my eyes of the sheer power of the undiluted dram, but at the same time there will be a huge arrange of flavours fighting for your attention.
Balance: Overall it is very well balanced despite the high ABV. But it is a complex dram and I am finding it difficult to distinguish every part of this dram, which is a drawback of tasting a sample. It intrigues me that a dram with such a high ABV can deliver without burning a hole in your mouth and in a certain matter I like this one (for the first time I am blown away by a bourbon !!)
Conclusion: Well this is definitively the best bourbon I tasted so far, but I am still struggling with it, wanting to drink another but unfortunately the sample is empty.
Points: 90 Price around €135, available at Master of Malts