Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection

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Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection

Unread postby Mike » Thu May 05, 2011 6:45 pm

Today, I was fortunate to be offered a 375 ml bottle of Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection Bourbon. This particular expression was distilled on 5-12 1993, and barreled on 5-13-93. Unfortunately, there is little other specific information, and none on recipe, still proof, entry proof, or barrel proof. Only 8 barrels were laid down and there is nothing denoting barrel size (some of the BT experimental whiskies were put in small barrels). A note says these barrels were 'Rediscoverd' for whatever that is worth, but probably accounts for the lack of information. Seems as though there is little doubt that this is a 'one off' about which no more information will ever be known.

It was stored in Warehouse L on Floor 2, in Rick 6, Row 1, Slot 1. It was bottled on 12/20/10, making it 17 Years and 7 Months old and was bottled at 90 proof. I paid $54 for this whiskey and was lucky because my friend Rocky at Sigman Bottle Shop obtained only two bottles and sold it to me for his cost. Thanks, Rocky!!

Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley's commentary is as follows: This bourbon has nice rich and creamy texture, like a whiskey latte with extra foam and a shot of vanilla. A great sipper for long cold nights.

I am having a sip now but cannot post tasting notes today because I have had a recent upper respiratory infection and my smeller and taster are not very acute. Sips promise an excellent whiskey which, at least with my current tasting handicap, does not seem to be overly tannic. I look forward to producing a complete set of tastings notes soon.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Re: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection

Unread postby Bourbon Joe » Thu May 05, 2011 7:09 pm

I have never purchased a bottle of the BTEC collection and never will. The market is saturated with overpriced bourbons IMO and these fall into that group. I also probably won't purchase the new Holy Grail bottlings by BT for the same reasons.
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Re: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection

Unread postby Mike » Thu May 05, 2011 8:17 pm

Bourbon Joe wrote:I have never purchased a bottle of the BTEC collection and never will. The market is saturated with overpriced bourbons IMO and these fall into that group. I also probably won't purchase the new Holy Grail bottlings by BT for the same reasons.
Joe


Ah, Joe you always was your own man, warn't you. I don't hold it agin ye, and doubt you would hold my foolishness agin me. My opinion of ye ain't diminished one whit. Your thoughts are sure every bit a good as any of mine. I'm having a sip to a fine man, YOU!
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Re: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection

Unread postby Mike » Thu May 05, 2011 8:31 pm

And, by the way, Joe, I know there's a good dose of truth in what you say.......... maybe I have been having some sips of 'koolaide' with my expensive bourbon. Still, it is all fun for me and I will go on with the games. I have said many times on this very site that your judgement in matters bourbon is to be trusted......... and I still say that now.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Re: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection

Unread postby Mike » Thu May 05, 2011 10:27 pm

To continue this conversation a bit, Joe. Even though it can be argued that 'experiments' in Bourbon (or whiskey) making can be an excuse to extort funds from a gullible public, I think there is SOMETHING worthwhile in distilleries efforts to play around with recipes, processes, aging, etc., etc. And to do so can't be cheap. We whiskey lovers are always complaining about something the distillers are doing, but in general, I think they deal with a very strange, difficult, and demanding audience when it comes to Enthusiasts. We want the highest quality at yesterday's prices. They are faced with an unsure demand, years in advance, and global comglomerates that demand ever more profits and cost cutting. It is still possible to drink very good whiskey at very reasonable prices and we can give many examples of this (my recent purchase of Old Ezra BIB, a very respectable boubon at about $13 bears this out). And this does not even take into account the very understandable, and commendable, desires of the Master Distillers who want to satisfy their creative ambitions. You can, and do, express you opinions economically, by not buying. I can, and do, express mine, by paying premiums for whiskey that is often not worth the price. That is how the market works, even when it is working well............ as it often isn't.

Still, distilleries must be flexible in catering to their varied customers. There are, as always, snobs to be satisfied. Those who want to trumpet that they are able to buy the most expensive of ANYTHING and gloat about it. I am not one of those. But, I may among those whose curiosity can never be satisfied, and one who has a desire to try yet another taste. If that be a fault (and it may be), I am guilty. Many is the time on this very site when I have given credit to those who are satisfied with their current options. You are one of those and are sitting in the catbird seat.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Re: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection

Unread postby delaware_phoenix » Fri May 06, 2011 6:45 pm

I have to agree with Mike and Joe that there is a good amount to very decent whiskey on the market for reasonable prices. And I agree with Joe that some of those specialty releases are getting pretty spendy prices, targeted as Mike says to those with some extra income and curiosity. Whether it's worth it, I don't know. I did get a bottle of the Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye special edition that came out. For some it would be too expensive, but I have my own special reasons for having it.

I remember when I first started getting interested in bourbon and rye, there was a strong desire to buy a lot of different brands. And a lot of it was mid-shelf to a bit better. My cut-off was $60. But you can learn a lot. I think it's good to experience the better juice just to have a baseline. Cheers!
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Re: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection

Unread postby jfw2 » Tue May 31, 2011 11:36 pm

This experimental release is "rediscovered" barrels from the Old Charter acquisition. So, it amounts to extra aged old charter.

http://www.buffalotrace.com/PressRelease.asp?newsid=130

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Re: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection

Unread postby Bourbon Joe » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:10 am

jfw2 wrote:This experimental release is "rediscovered" barrels from the Old Charter acquisition. So, it amounts to extra aged old charter.

Joe


How bad can that be??
Joe
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Re: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection

Unread postby bourbonbasement » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:56 pm

I just downed a bottle of the 1991 Barrels Rediscovered a couple weeks ago. I shared this with some friends the night before my wedding. Most of them were uninitiated whiskey drinkers, so they were quite impressed, and really considered this bottle something special. I suppose given the circumstances, it was. Most of the enjoyment came from the novelty of "experimental" bourbon and the relatively old age. The flavor was darn good, but nothing that would warrant $60 for a regular release of a 375ml bottle. Buy this for fun, or a special occasion, or to look pretty in your cabinet and impress visitors. If you're just thirsty, $60 can go a long way on a lower shelf.

http://bourbonbasement.com/buffalo-trace-experimental-1991-barrels/
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Re: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection

Unread postby gauze » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:12 pm

the $57 price tag got me, something I'd like as a gift but would hurt me to pay for.
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Re: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection

Unread postby Greg Adams » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:24 pm

At the price that Buffalo Trace are asking for these and the chance some might not be so good I have decided to pass. I will live through others experience.
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Re: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection

Unread postby Mike » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:09 pm

Now that my taster has repaired itself over time, I have had another sip of this bourbon. It is, in fact, quite good, but not good enough to justify its cost. BT, like other distillers, is playing games when it can to bring in revenue. I venture to say that any of us in the same situation would do the same thing. I worked for many years in the real world and adopted the view of my employer as one who felt an obligation to them/her/him. It is not illigetimate for BT to pursue profits where it can. But, those among us who can discriminate can choose not to participate in some of the games the distillers play. Sometimes we wil be fooled and sometimes we will miss out on a legitimate worthwhile 'experimental' offering. You pays your money and you takes your choice, or not. No different from the rest of what life offers.

Keeping a healthy perspective on all this is good. It is not a good thing in my opinion to feel that a major distiller has 'sold us down the river' because of one bourbon that we think is overpriced. My own bugaboo has for a long time been Basil Hayden's. I cannot form a truly objective opinion about this bourbon...... and unfortunately for the sake of being fair, don't even want to. It is my whipping boy among bourbons........ because I know that it is Old Grand-Dad (a very good 100 proof bourbon) watered down to 80 proof.

But, even if Beam is playing a nasty little game with Basil Hayden, I do not really blame Beam, I just leave Basil Hayden on the shelf. I still think Knob Creek is a first rate bourbon and so is Baker's and Booker's. Although, I still think Beam is standing pat too much and needs to be producing some more interesting offerings than its recent Knob Creek Barrel Proof (which I find to be excellent). My opinion is that because Beam makes the highest selling bourbon (Jim Beam White), it is the least likely to branch out with experimental stuff........... but standing pat is a very risky strategy in a volatile business, especially when the competition is producing new products pretty regularly. My guess is, not having any information to back this up, that Four Roses is taking a nice slice of market share these days, but that may be wrong and simply my own projection in the market.
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Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Re: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection

Unread postby bunghole » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:42 pm

Bourbon Joe wrote:
jfw2 wrote:This experimental release is "rediscovered" barrels from the Old Charter acquisition. So, it amounts to extra aged old charter.

Joe


How bad can that be??
Joe


Ooooh! Ooooh! That could be really REALLY GOOD! Given my love of the 12 year old Old Charter 'Classic 90' and of the Old Charter Propriter's Reserve, I'd like a barrel of this.
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Re: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection

Unread postby Mike » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:20 pm

eheart wrote:I think there is SOMETHING worthwhile in distilleries efforts to play around with recipes, processes, aging, etc., etc. And to do so can't be cheap. We whiskey lovers are always complaining about something the distillers are doing, but in general, I think they deal with a very strange, difficult, and demanding audience when it comes to Enthusiasts. We want the highest quality at yesterday's prices. They are faced with an unsure demand, years in advance, and global comglomerates that demand ever more profits and cost cutting. It is still possible to drink very good whiskey at very reasonable prices and we can give many examples of this (my recent purchase of Old Ezra BIB, a very respectable boubon at about $13 bears this out). And this does not even take into account the very understandable, and commendable, desires of the Master Distillers who want to satisfy their creative ambitions. You can, and do, express you opinions economically, by not buying. I can, and do, express mine, by paying premiums for whiskey that is often not worth the price. That is how the market works, even when it is working well............ as it often isn't.


I thought this post sounds familiar, and it is... since I wrote it. I am flattered that eheart thinks it worth repeating........... but to post it as his own goes a bit too far. Shame on you, eheart!
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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