- 90 Proof
- Batch #29
Over the years as I've picked up various private picks of Buffalo Trace products, I've noticed that some are labeled "Small Batch Select" and some "Single Barrel Select." The distinction would seem a bit obvious. Those labeled as "Small Batch Select" are from a larger batch of multiple selected barrels. This would theoretically mean that the store has more bottles of this to offer. "Single Barrel Select" would seem to indicate that it is just that, a single barrel, and thus a small yield than a "batch."
This particular bottle made me question just how obvious a distinction that is. After all, this has the best of both world. While it's got the "Single Barrel Select" sticker, it's identified as "Batch #29." So, which is it? Of course, if this were a real blog and I were a real whiskey writer, I might actually ask the hard-hitting questions and get to the bottom of it. But, rather than go through all that, I just decided to drink it and see if I like it, regardless of whether it's a single barrel or small batch (sorry for the cliff-hanger).
The nose was predominantly caramel, perhaps a slightly burnt caramel. There was also a distinct wood note to it, though not like an oak barrel that you'd associate with an older whiskey. Rather, it was more of a sawdust type note. It also had a kind of milk chocolate and raisin note to it. Over all it was sweet, but with an attempt at providing some earthy balance.
Right up front I got those traditional Buffalo Trace notes of caramel and cinnamon. However, there was a bit more there, including a great hazelnut and chocolate note. It was like a less sweet Nutella flavor mixed with some cinnamon. This all seemed to mix so well together.
But, there were some other outlying flavors as well. I got a sort of a wheat bread note. It was a sweet note, but yeast and grain forward. There was also a nutty note, again sweet, perhaps like a cashew. It also had a slight bitter note that reminded me of that white stuff you peel off an orange. I think it's called pith. That's yet another thing I'm not going to investigate, so if I'm wrong, then just go with the white stuff on an orange.
The finish started off pretty good, with a distinct cola note, and hints of that caramel and cinnamon. However, that bitter orange note also seemed to linger a bit, and that was a bit off-putting. That sweet, nutty note seemed to ride along with that bitter orange note as well, and all of it seemed to leave a weird taste in my mouth.
I've certainly had better Buffalo Trace picks. This one wasn't bad, it just wasn't as good as others I've had. At $25, though, you'd be a fool not to continue picking these up as you find them.