Buffalo Trace releases two bourbons that carry the Eagle Rare name: an almost readily available 10 year old version and this 17 year old entry in the Antique Collection. Bourbon enthusiasts who prefer lower proof bourbon may reach for this before going for a much higher proof George Stagg or William Larue Weller. Buffalo Trace provided a review sample.
This one’s really nice. I get mostly caramel and oak, but not too much oak, when I smell this. Taste-wise, I get some oak, some spices (cinnamon and a little nutmeg) and caramel. It’s buttery: not in the flavor, but the way it feels. The finish is a little spicy, bittersweet, and a little dry (probably because of the oak).
I liked the 10 year old the last couple of times I drank it. It’s great for the <$30 price tag. Eagle Rare 17 year old is an outstanding boubon. Elegant and refined, it keeps the oak in check. Price-wise, this will set you back $80. If you’re looking for an occasional special sipper, this one is worth checking out.
UPDATE: According to Buffalo Trace’s fact sheets, this year’s Eagle Rare 17 year old bourbon is actually 19 years old. There were only 26 barrels of this bourbon batched for this release, making Eagle Rare 17 along with Sazerac 18 the rarest of this year’s collection.