All posts tagged Buffalo Trace

Bourbon Review: Eagle Rare


Eagle Rare is brought to us by the highly renowned Kentucky distillery Buffalo Trace.  You may remember Buffalo Trace from our visit to the distillery or from our past review of its flagship product.  Buffalo Trace has firmly established itself as the cutting edge American distillery and each of its products are highly sought after.

Eagle Rare is an older, more mature, release than the more familiar Buffalo Trace Whiskey.  Aged for a minimum of ten years, each barrel is hand selected by the master distiller to achieve a consistent taste across bottles.  Eagle Rare has already brought home some hardware in 2015, earning a gold medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Type: Kentucky Bourbon
Proof: 90
MSRP: $36

Color: Copper
Aroma: Spice, herbal, vanilla, old wood, and tones of orange zest that become more pronounced on opening.
Palate: Very dark chocolate, intertwined with citrus and almonds. Finish is warm and dry.

Andrew: Eagle Rare is what a bourbon should taste like — classic, refined, and smooth.  I will certainly purchase another bottle because of the brand’s versatility; it will go down nicely either neat or in a cocktail.  Eagle Rare, likely the second or third best release from this distillery, is better than most flagship products.

Michael: I was slightly disappointed by Eagle Rare.  I did not think that the palate sufficiently matched the aroma and for me personally, it was a bit spicy for a bourbon.  Please note that I am in the minority here and that most whisky experts — which I am most decidedly not — give Eagle Rare high praise.  I am deferring to Andrew’s judgment for the verdict.

Verdict: Saturn, the 7th level of Paradiso.

Bourbon Review: Hudson Baby Bourbon

Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey

Hudson Baby Bourbon is the first bourbon whiskey to be distilled in New York, Michael’s home state, since prohibition.  Hudson uses 100% New York-grown corn and small American oak barrels to create an extremely smooth sipping bourbon which remains close to the drink’s classic identifying features, vanilla and caramel.  Like many craft distillery operations, the economics of whiskey making has incentivized the Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery to become something of a jack-of-all-trades.  Tuthilltown now produces a range of products from classic whiskeys to gins and vodkas made using New York apples.

The craft operation was so successful that the William Grant & Sons company, owners of Glenfiddich and Balvenie, bought Hudson a mere four years after it opened its doors.  At the time, the move was seen as providing Hudson with the additional capital necessary to ramp up production.

Type: New York Bourbon
Aged: Unknown
Proof: 96
MSRP: $45 (375ml)

Color: Medium bronze
Aroma: Sweet caramel with strong vanilla and light oak aroma; upon opening a light spice and heavier vanilla
Pallet: Buttery caramel on the initial taste and clear spice on the finish.  Middle taste is highly complex, with a combination of light nutty, citrus, and salt flavors

Michael: I want to start by saying that this is a very good sipping whiskey.  That said, I don’t think I can recommend a whiskey I would never personally buy.  The price point is simply absurdly high for what is — at best, a half-step up from a normal, medium quality American bourbon.  At this price point why would you not go with Buffalo Trace or Balcones?  The craft whiskey market has brought new and interesting brands to the American market, but they come at a price premium.  When the price premium outweighs the uptick in quality I think you end up with what we have here.

Andrew: When I tried the Hudson my first thought was, “this is what a bourbon should be”.  The aroma and flavors are incredibly rich.  Definitely a good sipping bourbon.

Verdict: Saturn, the 7th level of Paradiso.

Bourbon Review: 1792 Ridgemont Reserve

1792 Ridgemont Reserve

1792 commemorates the year that Kentucky became an official state.  The bourbon is produced by Sazerac, the same owners of Buffalo Trace.  The flavor profiles of 1792 have been in the works since 1994, and the brand emphasizes the use of aging techniques and quality ingredients to achieve a profile that is smooth and complex enough for special occasions and yet still at a reasonable price point.

The brand is especially proud of 1792’s aging warehouse, which sits on a bluff.  This allows the warehouse to receive full sun in the summer and sufficient air in the winter, forcing the whiskey in and out of the charred oak casks.  We were intrigued by 1792 and decided to give it a try.

Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Aged: 8 years (minimum)
Proof: 93.7
MSRP: $25

Color: Pumpkin
Aroma: Caramel and smokey with a noticable spice.  Vanilla and old wood flavors became more prominent upon opening.
Pallet: Very spicy, although not unpleasantly so, with a slight sweetness or apple toward the finish.

Michael: I really enjoyed this bourbon.  It surprised me that the pallet centered around the spiciness of the rye but the apple flavor near the end was a nice touch.  Of the whiskeys we’ve profiled which try to mix rye and bourbon flavors, this is by far my favorite.  Between this and Buffalo Trace Sazerac is making some wise investments.
Andrew: This isn’t your average bourbon. The sweet aroma leads to a very spicy taste, with a sharp finish. The flavor is definitely unusual, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Nicholas: Halfway decent bourbon. Certainly not the best we have had at this price range, but good nonetheless.

Verdict: Jupiter, the 6th level of Paradiso.

Mail Bag: Gran Torino Edition


It’s time for another edition of Mail Bag!  Without further ado. . .

Hi WhiskeyCatholic,

Here’s my submission for good examples of masculinity in popular culture: Walt Kowalsky (Clint Eastwood) in ‘Gran Torino.’  Also, I think that the theme of the Marvel superhero film ‘Thor’ was in part a commentary on the same phenomenon that you address in your post.  Thor begins as the same oafish goof of a “man” at the beginning of the film that you discuss in the section on the various false manly stereotypes, and over the course of the film develops true, responsible masculinity.

Thanks for your posts!

Michael S. 

Thanks, Michael.  Gran Torino is one of my favorite movies of all time.  I grew up watching Clint Eastwood movies with my father and really thought that Eastwood’s best movie-making years were far behind him when Gran Torino came out.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Not only is the movie well done, but it really makes you think about the poor state of American culture.  Walt’s story is far too familiar; a blue-collar war veteran who raises children who lack respect for past generations and tradition.  It has always been a great mystery to me as to how such an amazing generation of men, men who fought two wars against inhumane atheistic regimes, could raise a generation of children who gave us the 60s and 70s.  I simply can’t understand it.

I do like how the movie explores the question of religion.  Walt was never religious, and I think that is clearly reflected by the irreverence his children and grandchildren show at their mother’s funeral, but in his heart he knows that Catholicism is right.  He has a funeral for his wife, goes to confession before his death, and learns to respect the local priest.  It is also interesting how the movie explores the issue of immigration.  The immigrant family has stronger family values than Walt, something he grows to appreciate.  If there is any hope in saving the American sense of family perhaps it is in the examples set by immigrant families.

There are precious few mainstream movies that I could see myself discussing with friends over a few glasses of whiskey but this is definitely one of them.  Great suggestion.

Dear Whiskey Catholics,

That was a very interesting post on bow ties, thank you for it. May I offer a little further information? You left out the medical/surgical rationale for wearing a bow tie; a four-in-hand tie, the kind usually worn with a lounge suit (a.k.a.  business suit) hangs down and could fall into an open wound or worse still could cause Cows Tail Swish i.e. scoring the surface of the eye of an unconscious patient. The bow tie does neither.

Éamonn G.

Excellent point.  I hadn’t considered that before.  Nick sports a bow tie and I’m still stuck trying to learn how to tie one.  I’m hoping to learn before I get married because I would really like to avoid the high-school prom clip bow ties.  I’m sure I’ll fiddle with it more this summer as I study for the bar exam.

If I was operating on a patient I would probably want to take my tie off, though.

Whiskey Catholic: 

You are showing your provincialism here.

Ryes have traditionally been more popular in northern states, extending as far south as Maryland, although their popularity has certainly been on the decline since the 1950s. In fact, some of our older guests’ eyes still light up when they see a good rye on our shelf, usually followed by a comment about how “back in the day everyone used to drink a rye.”

We in the “fly over middle states” have a different meaning of “northern states.”  Bob

You’re right!  We’re showing some “east coast bias” right here on Whiskey Catholic!  With any luck this won’t last long as I’m moving to Texas and Nick is moving to the rust belt.


Dear Michael, Andrew, and Nicholas,
I recently stumbled across your blog while looking for a review of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, and I’ve found it to be one of the better Catholic blogs around right now.. I like your mix of posts about faith, and ones that are simply practical. It’s also nice to see something like this coming out of my own diocese. You’ve given this seminarian something good to read over his summer break, and I thank you for that. Keep up the good work.
In Christ,

We live for e-mails like that. . .

Have something to say?  You can always e-mail us at!

Whiskey Review: Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace prides itself on being the most awarded distillery of the past decade.  Family owned in Kentucky, the company tries to channel the rugged American pioneer spirit that so many others in the market use as inspiration.  Harlen Wheatley serves as Master Distiller to the operation which dates back to the 1770’s.  The whiskey gets its name from the Buffalo-forged path on the distillery’s property.

Buffalo Trace prides itself on using local ingredients, purchasing local corn, rye, and malted barley.  The whiskey is aged at least eight years and comes highly recommended by a reader in Minnesota.Buffalo Trace

Type: American Whiskey
Aged: 8 years
Proof: 90 proof
MSRP: $25

Color: Deep Amber
Aroma: Caramel with vanilla.  Oak, toffee, and mint undertones became more prominent upon opening.
Pallet: Caramel sweetness upon first taste.  There was some salt to the drink but it quickly gave way to a long, sweet finish.  The aroma prepared us for a full, sweet flavor with slight spice and the taste delivered exactly.

Michael: This is a solid American sipping whiskey.  It does not pretend to have complex taste, but rather concentrates on sweetness and smoothness, two things it does exceptionally well.  It makes for a good pre-dinner drink.  Dollar for dollar I think this might be one of the best American whiskeys available.
Andrew: I would consider Buffalo Trace a simple, classic American bourbon.  It’s hard to find anything extraordinary about this whiskey, but it’s also hard to find many flaws.
Nicholas: If you were to ask me to describe this whiskey in one word, I might first ask you why I would want to limit my review in such a way that I might fail to give a precise description. Then, after some coaxing, I might tell you that Buffalo Trace is “solid”. Everything you want in an everyday bourbon.

Verdict: Jupiter, the 6th level of Paradiso