By Father John Rayls
I initially stumbled across Eagle Rare 10 year by accident. The bottle looked interesting, a distributor suggested it, and it’s made by one of my favorite distilleries.
And did I mention the price? As a somewhat frugal consumer of all things whiskey, I’m always looking for the bang per buck return on any bottle purchased. It’s not that I don’t appreciate more expensive whiskey. I surely do. However, I can honestly say Buffalo Trace Distillery does not disappoint on price or the enjoyment factor with this offering.
Buffalo Trace Distillery is a well known name in the halls of Whiskeydom. They proudly proclaim themselves as the world’s most award winning distillery, and justifiably so. They have received awards and special proclamations numbering in the hundreds.
Beyond that, they trace their roots back over two hundred years, and received special recognition as a National Historic Landmark in 2013. They also happen to be the producers of several of my regular bourbons: 1) Blanton’s; 2) Col E.H. Taylor; 3) of course Eagle Rare 10 and 17 and a few other varieties that I enjoy periodically; 4) Sazerac Rye, 5) Elmer T. Lee, 6) George T. Stagg; 7) and the iconic Pappy Van Winkle. No other distillery comes close to filling my shelf as frequently or with as many beloved offerings as Buffalo Trace.
Eagle Rare 10 year old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a complex treat for the senses, bottled at 90 proof. It has a reddish-orange/brown appearance, darker than most other whiskeys in my experience, and has a seductive viscosity that allows the bourbon to ooze down the sides of the glass when swirled.
The nose is certainly a sweet oaky aroma with hints of vanilla and leather. On the tongue, you will also pick up hints of licorice and honey in addition to the oak and vanilla with the presence of rye. This is a very smooth bourbon, but is much more than a simple gateway to better bourbons.
In my mind, there is absolutely no reason to purchase any other bourbon in the under $30 section. It tastes, smells and looks like a much more expensive whiskey and will not disappoint.
You can grab the standard 750 ml bottle for anywhere from $26.99 to $39.99, with sizes up to 1.75 l available as well.
Billed as the only bourbon to ever win Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition five times, Eagle Rare 10 Year Old is heavily decorated. After the aforementioned San Francisco medals (Eagle Rare won single Golds at that competition as well), the bourbon has won multiple gold medals from the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition, International Spirits Competition and International Wine & Spirits Challenge.