Sunday, May 9, 2021

Buffalo Trace Binny's Small Batch Select #28 Kentucky Straight Bourbon

VITALS:
- $25
- 90 Proof
- NAS
- Batch #28
- Kentucky

I was in Binny's just the other day, and they had gotten in a shipment of just standard Buffalo Trace. On the tag, though, was written "Limit 1 per customer." I guess that's just the way things are now, though. Regular Buffalo Trace is allocated, perhaps even "collectable." I don't know if I'll ever get my head around that, as it's just an affordable, 90 proof every day bottle, in my eyes.

If the standard Buffalo Trace is going the way of allocated bottles, I wonder what we can expect for store picks going forward? Are these something people are going to be waiting in line for?  Don't get me wrong, they're great values and I never hesitate to grab one when I see them. But it's certainly never been something to chase for me, but rather a nice, extra bottle to throw into my cart if I see one. I hope these don't go the way of allocated bottles, but if the regular stuff is limited now, perhaps that ship has sailed.

In any event, I do still like trying these store picks, even if just to see how it stacks up against regular Buffalo Trace.  On the nose I got a light woodiness that I don't typically get from Buffalo Trace. It certainly didn't come across as oaky, but I did get a bit of a wood shaving note. It also had almost a peanut butter note, particularly in the first few pours. There was also a rich and tangy cherry note, almost like a cherry cordial with vanilla cream.

As to the flavor, that cherry cordial note seemed to come through, with not only the cherry and the vanilla notes, but also a dark chocolate note and even a liqueur note to it to round out that cherry cordial flavor. It also had a spicy heat up front, like spicy cinnamon that seemed to fit right in. The vanilla note seemed to really develop and come forward over time.

On the finish the spice seemed to really linger, but it was more of a peppery spice. The vanilla note seemed to hang around for a bit, and I found myself wondering if pepper-vanilla is a thing. It seemed to work here. A bit of that liqueur note that kept reminding me of a cherry cordial stuck around as well, though the cherry and chocolate seemed to be nowhere to be found.

What I found best about this whiskey is how well it held up in an old fashioned. The cinnamon spice up front and that peppery spice on the finish both seemed to be highlighted in the cocktail, as did the vanilla undercurrent. I don't typically comment on how well a bourbon works as a mixer, but I found myself particularly liking this one.

Again, I hope these don't become so scarce or so sought after that they're not around. I love picking them up as something cheap, fun and a little bit different. This one was certainly no different.

Grade: B

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