The mad scientist that is the Buffalo Trace Experiment Collection continues its journey on finding impacting variables of bourbon with this year’s release which focus it’s attention on barrel entry proof. For those of you who don’t know one of the requirements for being labeled a bourbon is that the new make spirit cannot enter the barrel with a proof higher than 125. So if a new make spirit is coming off the still at a higher proof than 125 it needs to be diluted down to legal requirements. What Buffalo Trace is trying to do with this round of experiments is see if entry proof has a major effect on the finished product. There are four bourbons in this years release and all were aged for 11 years and 7 months and bottled at 90 proof. What makes this release extra nice, for wheater fans like me, is that it is made from Buffalo Trace’s excellent wheated mash bill which is used in the Weller line of products as well as the Pappy line.
As per the Buffalo Trace press release here are the entry proof and results.
Wheat 125 – At 125 proof, this was the highest entry proof used, which also resulted in a high evaporation rate of 71% in the 11-plus years it was in the barrel. The high entry proof of this wheat recipe bourbon resulted in a well-rounded flavor with the taste being a balance of cooked berries mingled with sweet honey and slight hints of spicy cloves and pepper.
Wheat 115 – This wheated recipe bourbon was put into the barrel at 115 proof and lost the highest percentage due to evaporation, at 73%. Tasting notes for this bourbon say it is a well-balanced spirit, which was rated the best tasting by the quality analysis team at Buffalo Trace. The upfront taste is sweet and fruity, with buttery toffee notes that follow. A dry oaky finish completes the taste.
Wheat 105 – At an entry proof of 105, the angels were particularity generous with their share, taking the lowest amount of all four experiments with a rate of 62%. The 105 entry proof produced a bourbon that is a nice balance of sweet caramel, vanilla, and dry oakiness.
Wheat 90 – At an entry point of 90, this bourbon had a 64% evaporation rate as it aged alongside the other four experimental wheat barrels in Warehouse K. The result was a bourbon with more wood characters and slight sweet notes. It is mellow with hints of cedar and other wood flavors. —
These will retail for about $46.35 for a 375 ml bottle depending on your location. I look forward to trying this round of BTEC and if I can get my hands on these you can count on a review.