Friday, March 13, 2020

Buffalo Trace Warehouse Liquors Single Barrel Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon - Barrel #098

VITALS:
- $25
- 90 Proof
- NAS
- Barrel #098
- Kentucky

When it comes to private selections or store picks, I feel like I'm a broken record in these reviews, constantly touting the incredible value in the private picks of Buffalo Trace and Knob Creek. At $25 or so, I grab every single private selection of Buffalo Trace that I come across. The financial risk is minimal, and I have had some absolutely outstanding bottles.

And when that pick is coming from the likes of Gene at Warehouse Liquors, it's not only something that I grab because of the value, but it's something I grab because I know that it's something I'm going to really enjoy, something that will suit my palate well. There have only been a small handful of his picks that I haven't absolutely loved, and this one was no exception to that rule.

The nose is peppery and spicy, but that's laid on top of a caramel undercurrent. I also got a distinct corn syrup note, like the Karo light corn syrup that my mom used to bake with. Perhaps that got in my head, but I swear I was also getting graham cracker and a sort of a pecan pie note (it just so happens that Karo used to put a delicious pecan pie recipe on the back label of their bottles -- don't know if they still do that or not).

On my first sip, the first thing I noticed was a light anise note (I'm not a big fan of anise, but this wasn't enough to turn me off), as well as an immediately noticeable black pepper spice.  That gave way pretty quickly to vanilla and brown sugar, which was the undercurrent of flavor throughout.

Interestingly, part way through the bottle I started getting coffee notes, as well as those pecan notes I was hoping to get after that delicious nose. While initially I thought this was going to be well on the spicier end, after being open a bit the bottle seemed to transform to more of a dessert-like bourbon.

Don't get me wrong, the peppery spice, which I really liked in this, was still there. It just wasn't as front and center. It did seem to linger a bit on the finish, along with that caramel undercurrent and that coffee note. To add to that dessert-like quality, though, the finish also developed a dark chocolate note that seemed to just go perfectly with everything else.

By the time I got to the bottom of this bottle, it was a great combination of sweet, rich, bitter and spicy. Had I been grading this pick based on only those last couple pours, this would have gotten an A or even an A+ for me. They were that good and seemed to hit all the right notes for me. Nonetheless, my blind allegiance to Gene's picks paid off again, and this was a great barrel of Buffalo Trace.

Grade: A-

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