Best Bourbons | Buffalo Trace Distillery | Guide | Limited Releases

Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC) Guide [2021 + Data]

Jan 1, 2021

j

by Matty Sims

Many people don’t know that the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection has evolved since its first inception in 2000. The first BTAC was only three expressions and the current lineup was only set in stone in 2006. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • 2000 to 2001 – Sazerac 18, Eagle Rare 17, and Weller 19
  • 2002 – Sazerac 18, Eagle Rare 17, George T. Stagg, and Weller 19
  • 2003 to 2004 – Sazerac 18, Eagle Rare 17, and George T. Stagg
  • 2005 – Sazerac 18, Eagle Rare 17, William Larue Weller, and George T. Stagg
  • 2006 to Present – Sazerac 18, Eagle Rare 17, George T. Stagg, William Larue Weller, and Thomas H. Handy
BTAC Over the Years
Release YearW19Saz18ER17WLWGTSTHH
2000Weller 19Sazerac 18Eagle Rare 17
2001Weller 19Sazerac 18Eagle Rare 17
2002Weller 19Sazerac 18Eagle Rare 17George T. Stagg
2003Sazerac 18Eagle Rare 17George T. Stagg
2004Sazerac 18Eagle Rare 17George T. Stagg
2005Sazerac 18Eagle Rare 17William Larue WellerGeorge T. Stagg
2006 to PresentSazerac 18Eagle Rare 17William Larue WellerGeorge T. StaggThomas H. Handy

The George T. Stagg Distillery was purchased in 1992 by the Sazerac Co. and rebranded as Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Our Buffalo Trace Antique Collection guide will cover:

  • The History of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection
  • Analysis of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection
  • BTAC Awards
  • BTAC Reviews and Rankings

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

BTAC Compared by Proof

Sazerac 18 and Eagle 17 weren’t included because the proof doesn’t change every year. This break down includes WLW, THH, and GTS. As expected GTS has the highest average proof followed by THH and WLWL.

Takeaways:

  • THH has the least proof variation from year to year.
  • 2018 & 2019 were significant anomalies in GTS proof. I’d love to get more details on the warehouse, location, and barrels.
  • WLW has the most proof variation from year to year.

BTAC Compared by Evaporation Loss

Evaporation Loss is more commonly known as the Angel’s Share. The Angel’s Share is anywhere from 4% to 10% during the first year of maturation (compare that to only 2% for Scotch because of the climate). Other factors include warehouse location, climate, and barrel entry proof. Check out the angel’s share for the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection.



Also, here’s a break down of of the high and lows from 2006 to 2020:



One final comparison — the next chart shows the evaporation loss for each barrel for each BTAC per year and the average:

BTAC Compared by Age

You’d think the age part would be boring but there are some interesting takeaways. For instance, Eagle Rare is closer to 18 years old on average and Sazerac 18 had a 20-year release to name a few.


Which BTAC is better? [2020]

George T. Stagg (GTS) – Uncut Unfiltered Kentucky Straight Bourbon

George T. Stagg
George T. Stagg is an uncut, unfiltered Kentucky straight bourbon that always packs a flavor punch with every pour. It uses the Buffalo Trace mashbill #1 along with Stagg Jr., Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, and E.H. Taylor. This mash includes Kentucky Corn, Minnesota Rye, and North Dakota Malted Barley at undisclosed percentages.

George T. Stagg History

George T. Stagg was born in the middle of the 19th century. In November 1861, he enlisted in the Union army and found success during the Civil War. He fought in several key battles including the Battle of Franklin, Battle of Nashville, Battles of Stone River, Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, and in the siege of Atlanta. He ended his service as a Captain. Kentucky was split during the Civil Wars but Stagg’s religious beliefs led him to join the North. He was also known for fight bare-knuckle during his time in the military.

After the war, Stagg moves to St. Louis where he entered the whiskey industry as a salesman. He built a relationship with Colonel E.H. Taylor buying barrels of OFC Distillery Whiskey. By late in the 19th century, Taylor found himself fallen on hard times. He owed Stagg and his business partner $150,000 ($4 million in today’s currency). Stagg being the savvy businessman he was jumped at the opportunity to purchase the OFC Distillery and Carlisle Distillery in 1878.

Within the first 10 years of owning OFC, Stagg made critical advancements to the distillery including installing the first-ever climate-controlled warehouse in Kentucky via steam heating. After working together for six years, Stagg and Taylor parted ways after disagreeing on the future of the distillery. Taylor traded his shares of OFC Distillery stock for Stagg’s financial baking for his own Old Taylor Distillery.

George T. Stagg was a shooting star. He died at the young age of 58 in 1893. In 1904, the OFC Distillery was renamed the George T. Stagg Distillery in his honor which stood until 1999 when it was rechristened the Buffalo Trace Distillery. The Buffalo Trace Antique Collection was a way to continue honoring his legacy. Stagg was known for his rough and tumble personality, so it’s only fitting that the bourbon named for the man is a bold, brash, complex, uncut and unfiltered bourbon.

GTS Analysis

George T. Stagg (BTAC) Facts
GTS DetailsFacts
Mashbill
Large GrainKentucky Corn: Distillers Grade 1 and 2
Small GrainMinnesota Rye
Finish GrainNorth Dakota Malted Barley
Fermentation
Milling Screen#10
Cook Temp240 Degrees Fahrenheit
WaterKY Limestone with Reverse Osmosis
FermentationCarbon Steel/Black Iron Fermenter
MashSour
Distillation
DistillationDouble Distilled
Beer Still and Doubler
Off the Still135 Proof
In the Barrel125 Proof
In the BottleVaries by Year
BarrelNew, White Oak
#4 Alligator Char (55 Seconds)
Barrel MakerIndependent Stave Co
712 East Main
Lebanon, KY 40033
Barrel Size53 Liquid Gallons
66.25 Original Proof Gallons
FiltrationNon-Chill Filtered (NCF)

Key takeaway: GTS comes off the still 5 proof lower than Eagle Rare although they share a mashbill. It’s also non-chill filtered and uncut.

George T. Stagg Analysis
YearProofAge
2002137.615 yr
2003142.715 yr
200412915 yr
2005 Spring KY Only130.915 yr
2005 Spring USA131.815 yr
2005 Fall141.215 yr
2006140.615 yr
2007144.815 yr
2008141.815 yr
2009141.416 yr
2010143.017 yr
2011142.618 yr
2012142.817 yr
2013128.216 yr
2014138.116 yr
2015138.215 yr
2016144.115 yr
2017129.215 yr
2018124.915 yr
2019116.915 yr
2020130.415 yr

GTS averages 136.2 proof but the last three years have seen a string of lower proof GTS. It’s interesting also that GTS saw an 8 year run of hazmat releases (over 140 proof) from 20015 to 2012. The next seven years saw only three releases over the average proof.

GTS Awards

  • 2020 Silver Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2019 Gold Medal – Los Angeles International Spirits Competition
  • 2019 Chairman’s Trophy – 98 points – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
  • 2019 Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • “5 Stars – Highest Recommendation” – F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, December 2018
  • 2018 Gold Medal – Los Angeles International Spirits Competition
  • 2018 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2018 Trophy Finalist – 95 points – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
  • 2018 Best American Whisky No Age Statement (Multiple Barrels) – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2017 Double Gold Medal – New York World Wine & Spirits Competition
  • “5 Stars – Highest Recommendation” – F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, December 2016
  • 2016 “#3 of F. Paul Pacult’s 24 Favorite Whiskeys of All-Time…Thus Far” – 2012 release
  • 2016 Gold Medal, Best Non-Age Statement Bourbon – World Whiskies Awards
  • 2015 Top Five-Star Spirits – #3 – F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal
  • 2015 Silver Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2014 Extraordinary-Ultimate Recommendation – Chairman’s Trophy Winner – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
  • 2013 Silver Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2013 World Whiskies Awards – World’s Best North American Whiskey
  • 2013 World Whiskies Awards – Best Bourbon American Whiskey
  • 2013 World Whiskies Awards – Best Bourbon American Whiskey 8 Years and Over
  • 2013 Silver Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2013 Excellent-Strong Recommendation – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
  • 2012 Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2012 Excellent-Strong Recommendation – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
  • 2012 Gold Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2012 Number One Spirit in the World – F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal
  • 2011 Double Gold Medal – Best Bourbon – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2011 Extraordinary-Ultimate Recommendation – Chairman’s Trophy Winner – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
  • 2011 Number One Spirit in the World – F. Paul Pacult’s Spirits Journal
  • 2011 Silver Medal – Best in Class – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2010 Bourbon of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2010 Gold Medal – Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2009 Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2008 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2008 Gold Medal – Exceptional – Beverage Testing Institute
  • 2008 Silver Medal – Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2008 Silver Medal – Beverage Testing Institute
  • 2007 Gold Medal – Best in Class – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2006 Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2006 Silver Medal – Best in Class – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2005 Whiskey of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2005 Bourbon of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2005 Silver Medal – International Spirits Challenge
  • 2004 Whiskey of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2004 Bourbon of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2004 Silver Medal – International Spirits Challenge
  • 2003 Gold Medal – Exceptional – International Review of Spirits Award
  • 2003 Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2003 Gold Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2003 Bronze Medal – International Spirits Challenge
  • 2002 American Whiskey of the Year – Malt Advocate

GTS Vertical Reviewed

Visit Our George T. Stagg Review and Guide

Sazerac 18 – Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

Sazerac 18

Sazerac 18 is a Kentucky straight rye whiskey bottled at 90 proof. Each release is different but it’s commonly got a dusty funk on the nose and palate. In 1985, Sazerac laid an enormous store of rye whiskey. Those barrels were moved to steel tanks in 2003 and had been used for each Sazerac released until the 2019 release. That means the newest Sazerac was laid down in 2001.

Saz18 History

Thomas H. Handy started to acquire and market liquor in The Sazerac House. For instance, Handy and The Sazerac House were the only agents for Sazerac de Forge et Fils brandies and sold Peychaud’s bitters. Because of bad railroad investments, Handy had to dissolve Thos. H. Handy Co. but retained the rights to make and sell Peychaud’s bitters. After Handy’s death, William McQuoid reestablished Thos. H. Handy & Co. In the early 20th century, Thos. H. Handy Co. started selling their bottled Sazerac Cocktails but as well all know that didn’t last long because of prohibition.

After prohibition, the Sazerac Co. as know it started to take shape as the company started purchasing liquor brands and blending whiskeys. In 1989, the Sazerac Co. purchases several brands from Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Ltd. including Eagle Rare and Benchmark Bourbon. In 1992, they acquired the George T. Stagg Distillery.

Saz18 Analysis

Saz18 DetailsFacts
Mashbill
Large GrainMinnesota Rye
Small GrainKentucky Corn: Distiller's Grade 1 & 2
Finish GrainNorth Dakota Malted Barley
Fermentation
Milling Screen#10
Cook Temp240 Degrees Fahrenheit
WaterKY Limestone with Reverse Osmosis
FermentationCarbon Steel/Black Iron Fermenter
MashSour
Distillation
DistillationDouble Distilled
Beer Still and Doubler
Off the Still135 Proof
In the Barrel125 Proof
In the Bottle90 Proof
BarrelNew, White Oak
#4 Alligator Char (55 Seconds)
Barrel MakerIndependent Stave Co
712 East Main
Lebanon, KY 40033
Barrel Size53 Liquid Gallons
66.25 Original Proof Gallons
FiltrationChill Filtered

The distilling details are similar to George T. Stagg except for the mashbill which swaps large and small grains. Plus Saz18 is chill filtered. Both the premium aged bourbons are chill filtered. My guess is to help smooth out the oak notes that can be prominent in older bourbons.

Saz18 Awards

  • “3 Stars – Recommended” – F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, December 2018
  • 2019 Best Rye, 11 Years and Over – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2018 Best Rye, 11 Years and Over – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • “4 Stars – Highly Recommended” – F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, December 2016
  • 2016 Best Rye Whiskey, 11 Years & Over – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2015 Third Finest Whisky in the World – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2014 – 21st Annual Whisky Advocate Award: American Whiskey of the Year
  • 2014 Gold Medal, American Rye Whiskey 8 Years and Over – World Whiskies Awards
  • 2012 #4 of The Ten Highest Rated Whiskies – Whisky Advocate Magazine Winter
  • 2012 Liquid Gold Award – 95 points – Jim Murray’s 2013 Whisky Bible
  • 2011 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2011 Extraordinary-Ultimate Recommendation – Chairman’s Trophy Winner – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
  • 2010 Rye Whiskey of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2010 World Whiskey of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2010 Extraordinary-Ultimate Recommendation – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
  • 2010 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2006 Silver Medal – Best in Class – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2006 Silver Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2005 American Whiskey of the Year – Malt Advocate Magazine
  • 2005 Rye Whiskey of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2005 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2005 Silver Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2004 Rye Whiskey of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2004 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2004 Silver Medal – International Spirits Challenge
  • 2003 Silver Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2003 Silver Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2003 Silver Medal – International Spirits Challenge
  • 2002 Gold Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2002 Silver Medal – International Spirits Challenge
  • 2001 American Whiskey of the Year – Malt Advocate Magazine
  • 2001 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2001 Gold Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2001 Bronze Medal – International Spirits Challenge
  • 2000 Bronze Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Saz18 Vertical Reviewed

Visit Our Sazerac 18 Review and Guide

Thomas H. Handy (THH) Sazerac – Uncut Unfiltered Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

Thomas H. Handy

Thomas H. Handy is an uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. It’s much younger than Sazerac 18 but comes in at a higher proof (Saz18 is 90 proof compared to the varied barrel proof of Handy).

Thomas H. Handy History

The Sazerac Coffee House opened in 1852 and was making a more traditional cocktail using brandy, absinthe and Peychaud’s bitters. The Sazerac Cocktail was originally made with cognac or brandy. In 1970, Handy purchased the now famous The Sazerac Coffee House.  He swapped the brandy for rye whiskey which then became the preferred method of making the cocktail in New Orleans. This choice was mainly pragmatic because of the phylloxera outbreak in French vineyards brandy and cognac were hard to come by.

THH Analysis

Handy DetailsFacts
Mashbill
Large GrainMinnesota Rye
Small GrainKentucky Corn: Distillers Grade 1 and 2
Finish GrainNorth Dakota Malted Barley
Fermentation
Milling Screen#10
Cook Temp240 Degrees Fahrenheit
WaterKY Limestone with Reverse Osmosis
FermentationCarbon Steel/Black Iron Fermenter
MashSour
Distillation
DistillationDouble Distilled
Beer Still and Doubler
Off the Still135 Proof
In the Barrel125 Proof
In the BottleVaries by Year
BarrelNew, White Oak
#4 Alligator Char (55 Seconds)
Barrel MakerIndependent Stave Co
712 East Main
Lebanon, KY 40033
Barrel Size53 Liquid Gallons
66.25 Original Proof Gallons
FiltrationNon-Chill Filtered (NCF)

Similar distillation details to Sazerac 18 except Handy is uncut and unfiltered.

Thomas H. Handy Analysis
YearProofAge
2006132.78.5 yr
2007134.86.5 yr
2008127.56.5 yr
20091297.2 yr
2010126.96.5 yr
2011128.66 yr
2012132.46.5 yr
2013128.46 yr
2014129.26 yr
2015126.96 yr
2016126.26 yr
2017127.26 yr
2018128.86 yr
2019125.76 yr
2020129.06 yr

Thomas H. Handy’s average proof is 128.89. It’s the most consistent uncut whiskey in the BTAC lineup. The highest variation was in its second year at a plus 5.91 proof and the lowest was in 2019 at 3.19 proof.

THH Awards

  • 2020 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2019 Gold Medal – Los Angeles International Spirits Competition
  • 2019 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • “4 Stars – Highly Recommended” – F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, December 2018
  • 2019 Third Finest Whisky in the World – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2019 Rye of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2019 Best Rye, No Age Statement – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2018 Silver Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2018 Best Rye, No Age Statement – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2018 Rye of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • “4 Stars – Highly Recommended” – F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, December 2016
  • 2017 Best Rye-No Age Statement (2015 release) – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2016 Trophy Finalist; 95 points – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
  • 2016 Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2016 Gold Medal; Best American Rye Whisky – World Whiskies Awards
  • 2016 Best Rye Whiskey, No Age Statement – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2015 World’s Best American Whiskey – World Whiskies Awards
  • 2015 Chairman’s Trophy; “Tried & True” – 97 points – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
  • 2015 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2015 World’s Best American Rye- World Whiskies Awards
  • 2015 Winner, Best American Rye Whiskey – No Age Statement – World Whiskies Awards
  • 2015 Silver Outstanding Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2014 World’s Best Rye Whiskey – World Whiskies Awards
  • 2014 Best American Rye Whiskey – World Whiskies Awards
  • 2014 Gold Medal, American Rye Whiskey 7 Years and Under – World Whiskies Awards
  • 2013 World Whisky of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2013 Rye Whisky of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2013 Best Rye – No Age Statement – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2013 Liquid Gold Award – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2012 Rye of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2012 Rye of the Year – No Age Statement – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2012 Gold Medal – 94 rating – BTI International Review of Spirits
  • 2011 Double Gold Medal – Best Rye Whiskey – Best in Show – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2011 Excellent
  • 2011 Gold Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2011 Whisky Advocate Magazine rating: 93
  • 2010 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2010 Excellent-Strong Recommendation – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
  • 2009 Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2008 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2008 Gold Medal – Best in Class – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2007 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2007 Gold Medal – Best in Class – International Wine & Spirits Competition

THH Vertical Reviewed

Visit Our Thomas H. Handy Review and Guide

William Larue Weller (WLW) – Uncut Unfiltered Kentucky Straight Wheated Bourbon

William Larue Weller

William Larue Weller is an uncut and unfiltered wheated bourbon. In its inception, it was called Weller 19 but was discontinued for five years and re-introduced as William Larue Weller in the Fall of 2005 (with an average of 12 years 5 months). Most whiskey experts suggest the partnership with Julian Van Winkle III in 2002 led to the re-imagining of the Weller BTAC. The premium aged wheated whiskeys reserve was set aside for Pappy bourbon, and William Larue Weller was born.

William Larue Weller History

The Weller family were immigrants from Germany. They settled in Maryland in 1740 and didn’t waste timing moving to Kentucky by the mid-1790s. They settled near Bardstown and founded Laure County Kentucky. And what do all good farmers in Kentucky do? Distilling their grains. The Wellers were no different.

In 1840, William Larue Weller moved to Lousiville where he fought in the Mexican-American War from 1846 to 1848. He was a member of the Louisville Brigade and ended with military time with the rank of Lieutenant. Apparently, something about the discipline of being a soldier transfers into making good whiskey as well. After the war in 1848, William and his younger brother Charles opened William Larue Weller & Brother as a wholesale whiskey trading company. Their slogan was “Honest Whiskey at an Honest Price.” It’s also rumored Weller used a green thumbprint on barrels and invoices as a sign of quality and genuine Weller whiskey — not unlike bourbons today who wax their bottles.

A year later the legend was born as William swapped out rye as the secondary grain for wheat as the legend goes. In 1893, William Larue Weller met and hired Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle as a salesman. Not long after hiring Van Winkle, Weller retired leaving the business to his other brother John and his youngest son George. William Larue Weller passed away in 1899 in Florida.

In 1908, Pappy Van Winkle and Alex Farnsley purchased Weller & Sons with George Weller staying on as president. After prohibition, Weller & Sons merged with A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery to create the legendary Stitzel-Weller Distillery. Stitzel-Weller opened on Derby Day in 1935.

William Larue Weller wheated bourbon is uncut and unfiltered and honors the legacy of the man who created the first wheated bourbon mashbill.

WLW Analysis

WLW DetailsFacts
Mashbill
Large GrainKentucky Corn: Distillers Grade 1 and 2
Small GrainNorth Dakota Wheat
Finish GrainNorth Dakota Malted Barley
Fermentation
Milling Screen#10
Cook Temp240 Degrees Fahrenheit
WaterKY Limestone with Reverse Osmosis
FermentationCarbon Steel/Black Iron Fermenter
MashSour
Distillation
DistillationDouble Distilled
Beer Still and Doubler
Off the Still130 Proof
In the Barrel114 Proof
In the BottleVaries by Year
BarrelNew, White Oak
#4 Alligator Char (55 Seconds)
Barrel MakerIndependent Stave Co
712 East Main
Lebanon, KY 40033
Barrel Size53 Liquid Gallons
66.25 Original Proof Gallons
FiltrationNon-Chill Filtered (NCF)

You’ll notice the small grain is wheat as opposed to the traditional rye. As a matter of fact, there’s no rye in the mashbill at all. Also, Weller is off the still at a low 130 proof and in the barrel at the lowest proof of any Buffalo Trace whiskey at 114 proof. WLW is an uncut and unfiltered wheated bourbon.

William Larue Weller Analysis
YearProofAge
2000 – Weller 199019 yr
2001 – Weller 199019 yr
2002 Spring – Weller 199019 yr
2002 Fall – Weller 199019 yr
2005121.912 yr
2006129.915 yr
2007117.910 yr
2008125.311 yr
2009134.811 yr
2010126.612 yr
2011133.511 yr
2012123.412 yr
2013136.212 yr
2014140.212 yr
2015134.612 yr
2016135.412 yr
2017128.212 yr
2018125.712 yr
2019128.012 yr
2020134.512 yr

The original Weller 19 was a 19-year-old bourbon at 90 proof. The new William Larue Weller is uncut with ages generally around 12 years old. The average proof is 123.48 (which makes sense with the lower barrel entry). WLW is also prone to more proof variation than the other uncut offerings. 2014’s WLW release was hazmat at plus 16.7 proof.

WLW Awards

  • 2020 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2019 Gold Medal – Los Angeles International Spirits Competition
  • 2019 Silver Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • “5 Stars – Highest Recommendation” – F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, December 2018
  • 2019 World Whisky of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2019 Bourbon of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2019 Finest Bourbon, No Age Statement, Multiple Barrels- Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2018 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2017 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • “5 Stars – Highest Recommendation” – F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, December 2016
  • 2017 Bourbon of the Year (2015 Release) – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2017 Third Best Whiskey in the World (2015 Release) – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2016 Silver Outstanding Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2016 “#11 of F. Paul Pacult’s 24 Favorite Whiskeys of All-Time…Thus Far” – 2012 release
  • 2016 Bronze Medal, Best Non-Age Statement Bourbon – World Whiskies Awards
  • 2016 Best Bourbon, No Age Statement (Multiple Barrels)
  • 2016 Bourbon of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2016 Fourth Finest Whisky in the World – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2015 Silver Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2015 Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2015 Bronze Medal, Best Bourbon – No Age Statement – World Whiskies Awards
  • 2015 Best Bourbon in the World – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2015 Second Finest Whisky in the World – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2013 Silver Outstanding Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2013 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2013 Extraordinary
  • 2013 Second Finest Whisky in the World – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2013 Bourbon of the Year – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2013 Best Bourbon-No Age Statement (Multiple Barrels) – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2013 Liquid Gold Award-97.5 points – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2012 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2012 Extraordinary-Ultimate Recommendation – Chairman’s Trophy Finalist – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
  • 2012 Gold Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2012 Ramsay’s Dram Hogmanay Award (The “Hoggies”)
  • 2011 Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2011 Excellent-Strong Recommendation – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
  • 2011 Gold Medal – Best in Class – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2010 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2010 Excellent-Strong Recommendation – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
  • 2010 Bronze Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2008 Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2007 Gold Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2007 Silver Medal – Best in Class – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2006 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition

WLW Vertical Reviewed

Visit Our William Larue Weller Review and Guide

Eagle Rare 17 (ER17) – Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Eagle Rare 17

Eagle Rare is made with Buffalo Trace’s mashbill #1. The difference between GTS and ER17? ER17 comes off the still at 140 proof whereas GTS is 135 proof. Plus GTS is uncut and unfiltered whereas ER17 is chill-filtered and offered at 101 proof. Also, the average age of Eagle Rare 17 is 17 years and 7 months — three releases seeing bourbons over 18 years and four releases 19 years plus.

ER17 History

Eagle Rare was created in 1975 by Seagram master distiller Charles L. Beam. In its initial expression, it was not a single barrel. It was marketed by Old Prentice Distillery until Sazerac Co. bought Seagram along with the Eagle Rare brand in 1989. But for a time it was distilled in Lawrenceburg, KY at the now Four Roses Distillery. At the time, you could not buy Four Roses in the U.S., so Eagle Rare and Benchmark were Seagrams U.S.-based bourbon brands.

It was also conceived as a competitor to Wild Turkey’s wildly famous 101 bourbon. Hence the 101 proof as well the majestic eagle. The original 101 proof Eagle Rare bourbon was discontinued in 1995. Buffalo Trace reworked the brand to be a 90 proof, single barrel bourbon for its standard offering. The Buffalo Trace Antique version is a 17-year bourbon that was originally 90 proof but in 2019 was changed back to the original 101 proof.

ER17 Analysis

ER17 DetailsFacts
Mashbill
Large GrainKentucky Corn: Distillers Grade 1 and 2
Small GrainMinnesota Rye
Finish GrainNorth Dakota Malted Barley
Fermentation
Milling Screen#10
Cook Temp240 Degrees Fahrenheit
WaterKY Limestone with Reverse Osmosis
FermentationCarbon Steel/Black Iron Fermenter
MashSour
Distillation
DistillationDouble Distilled
Beer Still and Doubler
Off the Still140 Proof
In the Barrel125 Proof
In the Bottle90 Proof (2000 to 2018)
101 Proof (2019 to present)
BarrelNew, White Oak
#4 Alligator Char (55 Seconds)
Barrel MakerIndependent Stave Co
712 East Main
Lebanon, KY 40033
Barrel Size53 Liquid Gallons
66.25 Original Proof Gallons
FiltrationChill Filtered

From 2000 to 2018, Eagle Rare 17 was 90 proof then Buffalo Trace changed back to the original pre-Buffalo Trace 101 proof. ER17 comes off the still higher than any other BTAC offering at 140 proof. If anyone with a distilling background would like to provide some reasoning for the 5 plus proof off the still, please leave a comment. Along with Sazerac 18, ER17 is chill filtered to help round out any overt oak notes.

ER17 Awards

  • “4 Stars – Highly Recommended” – F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, December 2018
  • 2018 Bronze Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2017 Silver Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • “3 Stars – Recommended” – F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal, December 2016
  • 2016 Best Bourbon, 10-17 Years (Multiple Barrels) – Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
  • 2015 Silver Outstanding Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2014 Gold Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2014 Bronze, American Bourbon Whiskey – World Whiskies Awards
  • 2013 Silver Outstanding Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2012 Gold Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2012 Best North American Whiskey – World’s Best Whiskies
  • 2012 Silver Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2012 Liquid Gold Award – 94 points – Jim Murray’s 2013 Whisky Bible
  • #6 of The Ten Highest Rated Whiskies – Whisky Advocate Winter 2012
  • 2011 Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2011 Silver Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2011 Excellent
  • 2010 Silver Medal – Best in Class – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2010 Silver Medal – Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2009 Silver Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2005 Silver Medal – Whisky Magazine
  • 2003 Silver Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2003 Silver Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2003 Silver Medal – International Spirits Challenge
  • 2002 Seal of Approval – International Spirits Challenge
  • 2001 Gold Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
  • 2001 Gold Medal – International Spirits Challenge
  • 2001 Bronze Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2000 Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition

ER17 Vertical Reviewed

Visit Our Eagle Rare 17 Review and Guide

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is the Editor-in-Chief at a digital media company. LeAnn (his wife) and his daughters Claire, Maddy, and Adele along with a brand new pup Booker live in Taylors, SC, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He enjoys cracking a well-aged bottle of bourbon with friends and sharing stories, or cracking one of his favorite daily sippers on the back porch while the pup and his kids play in the backyard. He is a storyteller at heart, and Bourbon has deep roots in storytelling.
By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: The Bourbon Bard, PO Box 1501, Taylors, SC 29687, http://www.thebourbonbard.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email. Emails are sent by MailChimp.

Buy Bourbon Clothing

Popular Posts

Bourbon Release Calendar [2021]

Our bourbon release calendar covers the annual cadence of major limited releases as well as new labels approved by the TTB — making bourbon hunting easy again. You may be asking, "What bourbon is releasing this week?" Well, new bourbon release dates are not an exact science. Not all bourbon...

read more

The 24 Best Bourbons Under $100 Ranked [2021]

The over $50 and under $100 bourbon whiskey category is where it gets interesting. There are some all-time great options available in this corner and many can be easily found. Some of my top choices include Booker’s bourbon and Four Roses Single Barrel Barrel Proof (SBBP). Booker’s batches...

read more

Every Smoke Wagon Bourbon Reviewed [2021]

Smoke Wagon Bourbon was founded by Aaron Chepenik and Jonathan Hensleigh in 2012 as part of Nevada H&C Distilling Co. They source their bourbon from Midwest Grain Products of Indiana (MGPI) using MGPI's 36% high rye bourbon mashbill. Chepenik was convinced you can develop a brand flavor...

read more

Every Weller Bourbon Reviewed [2021]

You're here because you've been asking, "Which Weller bourbon is the best?" We've got you covered with reviews of every Weller plus a lot more. The first Weller who distilled whiskey was Daniel Weller, grandfather of William LaRue Weller. Daniel was a pioneer distillery in the 18th century in...

read more

Booker’s Bourbon Batches | List of Booker’s Batches

Booker's bourbon batches are a barrel strength bourbon made by the Jim Beam distillery. It is uncut and unfiltered. It's generally aged 6 to 8 years with a proof upwards of 121. This is Booker Noe's bourbon, the famous master distiller of Jim Beam in the 80s. The brand was started by Booker Noe,...

read more
By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: The Bourbon Bard, PO Box 1501, Taylors, SC 29687, http://www.thebourbonbard.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email. Emails are sent by MailChimp.

Contact for Collaborations

Comments

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Buy Bourbon Clothing & Accessories