By Father John Rayls
The Buffalo Trace Organic 6 Grain Bourbon Whiskey from their Experimental Collection is another interesting whiskey in a line of interesting whiskeys from Buffalo Trace. They have been experimenting over at Buffalo Trace for years, and that commitment now includes over 14,000 aging barrels, at least one dedicated warehouse (a laboratory warehouse at that!) and a dedicated, in-house micro-distillery. They have been and are investigating creative mash bills, various styles and preparations for oak barrels, and environmental forces affecting the final tasting experience. Releases are not limited to any certain schedule.
This 2017 release is a bourbon, but is labeled as a whiskey (rather than bourbon) because of its unusual taste profile. The precise mash bill proportions are a secret, but it is known that it used corn, buckwheat, brown rice, sorghum, wheat and rye, and that the statutory minimum of 51% corn was used. Eight barrels with standard No. 4 char were filled at 130 proof. After 7 years and 1 month of barrel aging in Warehouse H, Buffalo Trace chill filtered and bottled this whiskey at 90 proof. They even went so far as to have this whiskey organically certified.
In the glass, this bourbon has a light to medium copper coloring with brass highlights. The legs are prolific and appear to “freeze” on the sides of the glass, creating an interesting and unusual visual impact.
The nose is of medium intensity and has some complexity, and I don’t say that often about noses. It is filled with oak and grain and herbs. The complexity is underneath, however, where there is an aspect of earthiness mixed with a very light sweetness.
The nose and the taste profile match up almost one to one. It is a medium-to-light bodied whiskey, with little coating of the mouth. It’s complex with dry, herbal, grainy, woody and definitely earthy aspects. The only bad mark here is that it is a little hot on the palate.
The finish is long, hot and peppery. Most of the mouth action is at the back half of the mouth. The finish begins in the back as well before gradually involving the sides and tip of the tongue, concluding with a little vibration on the lips.
The cost is not the good news of this review. The Buffalo Trace Organic 6 Grain Bourbon Whiskey (Experimental Collection) is offered in a 375ml bottle from a very limited supply, with a suggested retail price of $46.