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Buffalo Trace Bourbon Review [2021]

Last updated Jan 13, 2021 | Published on Nov 9, 2020


by Matty Sims

Buffalo Trace BourbonDetails
MashbillLow Rye, BT Mash Bill #1 (Percentages Unknown)
Release TypeSmall Batch
Age6-8 Years
Size750 mL and Up
Suggested MSRP$22.99
DistilleryBuffalo Trace Distillery
ProsGreat Value and Traditional Bourbon Flavors
ConsFinish Lacks Complexity, Hard to Find
InventoryDaily Bourbon

Here’s my Buffalo Trace bourbon story . . . I had been drinking whiskey for a while, but when I went into the store I usually just picked up whatever looked good. I remember I had picked up some Maker’s and Jack among others. But nothing ever jumped out at me. Back in the early days, I was drinking mostly whiskey sours anyway, so it didn’t matter as much.

However, sometime in 2009, I was sitting in my local cigar shop doing some work from their lounge and I asked for a whiskey sour. The bartender was a woman in her 20s. Brown hair, shoulder-length. Tatted-up arms. She asked me if I wanted to try this new bourbon, “It’s Buffalo Trace.”

She assured me I should try it without making a sour. I was hesitant because that wasn’t my thing. I hee and hawed a bit, but I went ahead and ran with it. She popped in a big circular ice cube in my glass and passed it over the counter.

That first drop of bourbon hit my lips (I didn’t even know you should smell bourbon back then) and, I was in love. It was so delicious. Is Buffalo Trace good neat? Damn skippy. Buffalo Trace was the bourbon that made me love the actual taste of bourbon.

From then on, I’d pop into the liquor store about a mile from my house, tucked in the edge of my local grocery store and at that time I could pretty much grab a bottle whenever I wanted. It wasn’t until probably 2015/2016 when I started noticing it was not available all the time. I’d usually mumble under my breath then pick up my other go-to at the time which was Jefferson’s Very Small Batch.


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Buffalo Trace Bourbon Review

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Review

From talking to a lot of bourbon lovers who’ve gotten into the game in the last five to seven years, my story isn’t all that uncommon. Buffalo Trace pulled off some remarkable and made a bourbon that attracted an entirely new generation into bourbon . . . and now it’s hard to find, but hopefully not for long.

Is Buffalo Trace a good bourbon? I’d say so as you’ll see below. Is Buffalo Trace hard to find? It can be depending on your state. How long is Buffalo Trace bourbon aged? Typically between 6-8 years but even that may vary by batch.

Buffalo Trace bourbon is the cornerstone bourbon from Buffalo Trace Distillery. Buffalo Trace is made from their lower-rye content mash #1. They do not release their percentages, but we know it has over 50% corn, rye as the secondary grain, and malted barley. Bourbonr guesses that the rye is less than 10% — see his infographic below.

Related: Complete List of Weller Bourbons Reviewed

Buffalo Trace Bourbon in the Glass

It’s a shimmering amber-gold in the glass. This bourbon covers my Glencairn whiskey glass with oily, delicious bourbon that slowly rolls down its contours. It’s like honey dripping down the honey pot. It’s a master class in balanced, traditional bourbon flavors.

Nose – 90 Points

I immediately pick up brown sugar as the prominent note then caramel, creamy vanilla pudding, and dark red fruit. It’s rounded out with beautiful, savory baking spice notes.

Taste – 85 Points

I get just a subtle pop of oak at front of the palate. Creamy light caramel as the unifying note. Baking spice rounds out the flavor profile the longer you chew the bourbon.

Finish – 85 Points

It’s got a nice finish, but it’s a little one-note. It’s baking spice all the way through the end with barely a hint of caramel and cherries.

Verdict – Silve 87 out of 100 Points

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Buffalo Trace bourbon is one of the whiskies I’d share with bourbon newbies to show what the traditional bourbon flavor profile should be. It’s a great starting point bourbon. There’s nothing surprising here, but Buffalo Trace is just consistently at the top of the food chain for daily drinkers. It’s not fine dining. It’s homemade comfort food. And it’s damn good.

Of course, the caveat with Buffalo Trace is it can be hard to find. In South Carolina where I live it’s still hit or miss, whereas just over the state line in Georgia it’s plentiful. My MO is to typically make one trip a year and pick up a handful of bottles.

What are your tasting notes for Buffalo Trace Bourbon?

Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #1 Infographic

buffalo trace bourbon mash bill #1

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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.
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