BTEC Organic 6 Grain Whiskey

Free sample from Buffalo Trace for this review. I don’t even think they read this blog so you can rest assured that what I taste is what I am writing about.

The color is on the lighter side, but I read it was new charred oak barrels and could be legally called Bourbon.

The nose is really nice. Candy corn, brown sugar covered cooked baby carrots, rice crispy treats, Golden Grahams and stone dust. It’s intriguing and not too hot.

The mouthfeel is good despite the 90 proof. It’s a little hotter in the throat than the nose would have lead me to believe. The taste isn’t as sweet as the nose either but it is interesting and the finish is long. This is very enjoyable but is quite different than most whiskies. The taste is focused on the back center of the tongue, unlike any other whiskey I can remember. The second taste comes through hot again and starts in the front of the tongue and migrates to the back again. It has a vegetable sensation to the flavor.

I’ve always been a fan of the BTEC series. Even if I don’t like the whiskey, I love that Buffalo Trace is putting out stuff that we can try of different experiments. This one is good but not one I expect them to make into a regular product. If you can buy it at MSRP you absolutely should pick it up! I wouldn’t go chasing it on the secondary for over $100 though… The 4 Grain is much better.. less is more. 89/100


BTEC Infrared Light Experiment

I’ve tried a lot of Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection bourbons over the years, but I haven’t rated as many as I should have.  I will try to do better about that going forward.  The most recent BTEC release is the infrared light barrel aging experiment.  It’s a higher rye recipe as well, so it’s harder to do an apples to apples comparison vs the standard Buffalo Trace, but I used it as a test subject anyway.  I tasted it after pouring it immediately, then again after an hour and then once more after adding water.

The standard buffalo on the cover Buffalo Trace:

15 minute BTEC: good nose, a touch of peanut butter, wheat thins, raisin bread, decent heat.  The finish is ok, a touch sour, not very complex or interesting.

30 minute BTEC: similar but distinctively different nose, not as much peanut butter, more cedar.  The palate is dryer, but also has that sour note.  Equally disappointing.

After sitting for two hours:

BT Standard: better, more vanilla and cinnamon, more enjoyable.

15m BTEC: baking spices and smoother, nicer finish, it needed the air.

30m BTEC: sweeter nose, enjoyable finish.

After adding several drops of reverse osmosis water:

15m: very floral, perfumed and vanilla, the water really released hidden flavors.

30m: same as the 15m but even more.  Water is the key here.

I’ll be honest, when I first tried this experiment, I did not like it.  But after giving it air and water it really came out.  But I’ll be honest, I couldn’t tell any significant difference between the infrared light treatment or not.  Just another solid whiskey from Buffalo Trace.  I don’t think it’s worth investing in given the high prices of the BTEC series.  87/100 each.



BETC Barrels Rediscovered 17yr vs 19yr Head to Head

I was lucky to find these Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection bourbons at a store at retail price, something almost unheard of with the BTEC older series.  There is a 21yr version too, but alas, someone beat me to it.  If anyone has a sample, I’m happy to trade.
Both these have the same mashbill and were aged in white oak barrels, but the evaporation difference is pretty substantial, 62.1% for the 19 year 1 month bourbon vs only 43.6% fot the  17 year 7 month one.  These were both bottled in December 2010.  Full details on the bottles in the picture.
The older one has a darker amber than the younger one–not surprising.
19yr nose: rich mushroom forest floor, leather saddlebag, graham cracker s’mores, graphite, candied apple.
17yr nose: similar nose, but fresher, so the mushrooms aren’t as dark, the leather isn’t as worn, the s’mores are golden brown instead of charred and there is a hint of peanut butter on this one that doesn’t exist in the 19yr.
19yr palate: Very smooth, but almost too smooth… I wish these were barreled at cask strength to really get the full effect.  The waming is good, but again, hard to judge at 90 proof.  It’s enjoyable, but compared the to Four Roses I had this weekend, it doesn’t compare.  The palate is good, and the finish is medium and the mouthfeel is above average.
17yr palate: Same criticisms and compliments as the 19yr about cask strength and quality.  The peanut butter again comes through strong on the palate, backing up the nose, which the 19yr old one doesn’t have at all.  Very interesting the differences yet similarities.  The mouthfeel is slightly more oily in the 17yr than the 19yr.
Overall these are very good and enjoyable aged Bourbons.  Given they are fairly expensive ($60 each at retail and go for 100-150 on bottle-spot) and only half bottles and not cask strength, it’s hard to give them top marks, but they are very interesting and I’m extremely happy to have them as part of my whiskey cabinet.  I will continue to buy the BTEC collection to learn more about the difference in the styles and how it reflects on the nose.  I’m grading them both 92/100.