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rtg24

Buffalo Trace Distillery

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I noted, early on, that in every field there seemed to be a Rearden - an entrepreneur or company that pushed all the boundaries, and went so much further and so much more completely so than any other as to establish absolute superiority - to the customer's delight - in their chosen field. Examples abound... in music, Beethoven (over his contemporaries, anyway), in technology, Apple and Google, in cars, Ferrari (waiting for John to disprove this one :blink:).

But whiskey? Who could possibly win to such an extent in such a subjective area as whiskey?

For me, the judging criteria was quite simple. I love scotch, particularly big, bold, full mouthed Islays with an incredible finish (such as most things by Lagavulin and Bruichladdich's special edition Port Charlottes). But for America, I needed a whiskey that captured the SPIRIT of the USA. I needed the taste of Pennsylvania leaves in Fall, I needed to taste freedom, to smell liberty, to be taken by a feeling of greatness that you can find only after a 4 hour queue in JFK as an "alien".

So, this review may be biased.

So far, Buffalo Trace distillery has hit the mark on every product I have tasted. Three in particular have marked me.

Buffalo Trace bourbon is the most simple, basic, and cheapest. It's easily the best bourbon I ever tasted, and I've tasted quite a few, including Rock Hill farm, Evan Williams 23 year old and all the usual suspects (such as Elmer T. Lee). It captures America in a glass.

Thomas H. Handy was a cask strength rye whiskey they intended for a more premium market. It is reminiscent of the conquest of the Wild West in its spirit. At 60%+ alcohol content, it is not for the faint hearted, but its nose will conquer you and its taste and power will knock you over in your chair. The Spirit of America, Rearden, John Galt, Dagny Taggart et al., from Thomas Jefferson to the World Trade Centre, the finest set of buildings ever built, has been captured in a bottle, and that is Thomas H. Handy by the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Sazerac 18 year old is a spectacular rye whiskey. It is so incredible it usually sells out within a few hours of its release, at least here in Europe. After three years, I managed to score a bottle. Whilst more balanced, refined and subdued than the all-out Thomas H. Handy, this is definitely quite an awesome product and I agree with Jim Murray, arguably the world's top scotch expert, who considered this to be the world's finest whiskey, although I would put it second to its bolder brother the Thomas H. Handy.

Especially if you live in the States, pick up a bottle. Your countrymen in Kentucky are doing you proud.

I'm glad to have helped reduce the US deficit, too :P

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Better than Evan Williams?! Right - I shall buy some immediately.

BTW - nice to find a fellow drinker. I have a large collection of scotches, bourbons and such:

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Thanks for the suggestion! I have decided it is far better not to develop a palate for fine alcohol, and am sitting here with my moderately priced Pinot Noir. It's just much cheaper that way. :blink:

Sticking with the season, I have found that Tullamore Dew livens up the eggnog nicely!

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Better than Evan Williams?! Right - I shall buy some immediately.

BTW - nice to find a fellow drinker. I have a large collection of scotches, bourbons and such:

Very nice, definitely the way to present them (although I hope you are either drinking them quickly or occasionally wetting the cork, if you leave them all standing).

I should point out that I do not like the "standards" that most people find delicious. For example, I find Ron Zacapa 23/XO sickening, Hine Homage to taste like distilled water, and thus Evan Williams to be quite boring. I love character and (controlled, balanced, skilful) "out of this world" boldness and originality. If you do, too, try Renegade Rum Co's 9 year old Black Rock Barbados with Petrus cask finish (the only time I liked a "special finish"), and Bruichladdich's Port Charlotte PC7 (which I prefer to PC8).

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If you are an Evan Williams fan, try Eagle Rare from Buffalo Trace. I prefer the 10 year old to the 17 year old.

For all drams, a place and time :blink:

Bourbons: Blanton's, Evan Williams, Wild Turkey Rare Breed

Rye Bourbons: Michters, Wild Turkey Rye

Scotch: Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Glenrothes, Laphraog

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Very nice, definitely the way to present them (although I hope you are either drinking them quickly or occasionally wetting the cork, if you leave them all standing).

I drink most of them periodically. However, I don't think that distilled spirits have the same issues that wines do (oxidation). So, why worry about dry corks?

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Very nice, definitely the way to present them (although I hope you are either drinking them quickly or occasionally wetting the cork, if you leave them all standing).

I drink most of them periodically. However, I don't think that distilled spirits have the same issues that wines do (oxidation). So, why worry about dry corks?

I heard from a far more experienced drinker that it helped seal it hermetically (and avoid the evaporation of, mostly, ethanol that plagues the finest bottles).

I'll have to try Blanton's! I am also a fan of Wild Turkey. And I think Caol Ila's older range (anything older than 20) is very damn fine Islay indeed. Have you tried the Ardberg Supernova?

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And I think Caol Ila's older range (anything older than 20) is very damn fine Islay indeed. Have you tried the Ardberg Supernova?

Yeah, there are a bunch of different Doal Ilas floating around. One with a black label is not as good as some of the third party bottlings I have. For instance, I have a Gordan and MacPhail single cask that, while just 12 years old, is amazing.

I was at a whisky event and they had a bunch of different Ardbegs that I tried, but I don't remember. The standard one, though, is excellent.

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If you like cask strength Islays I really recommend you get instead any of the Port Charlottes! It is the same spirit as the Supernova - extreme peat, power, taste - but, at least here, less expensive.

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