Buffalo Trace’s Latest Experiment:
Effects of Entry Proof are the Focus
Article by Justin Thompson – February 13, 2014
Buffalo Trace announced that its latest Experimental Collection release is coming out at the end of this month and will be focusing on how entry proof affects the overall taste profile of whiskey.
Almost all whiskey is slightly diluted before it enters the barrel for aging. The amount of dilution at this time is considered an important step in a whiskey’s development. This round of experimental whiskies used the same distillate (the same mashbill they use for their flagship, Buffalo Trace Bourbon that uses rye as the secondary grain) that came off the still at 140 proof and was cut to four different proof levels (125˚, 115˚, 105˚, 90˚) before entering the barrel. All of those barrels were then aged for 11 years and 9 months in their Warehouse K.
Here are the results from the experiment according to Buffalo Trace:
Bourbon-Rye Mashbill 125 – At 125 proof, this was the highest entry proof used, which is also Buffalo Trace’s standard entry proof for its rye recipe Bourbons. The result was typical of Buffalo Trace’s mash #1 findings, a well-balanced bourbon with spicy cloves mingled with sweet vanilla, caramel and toffee to create a well-rounded and complex flavor.
Bourbon-Rye Mashbill 115 – This rye recipe Bourbon was put into the barrel at 115 proof and has light oaky flavors mingled with leather and palm sugar.
Bourbon-Rye Mashbill 105 – At an entry proof of 105, the angels were particularity generous with their share, taking the highest amount of their share in all four experiments with an evaporation rate of 26%. The 105 entry proof produced a Bourbon which had a good overall flavor with some earthy tones, followed by a buttery, light finish.
Bourbon-Rye Mashbill 90 – At an entry point of 90, this bourbon had a 25% evaporation rate as it aged alongside the other four experimental rye barrels in Warehouse K. The result was a Bourbon with a light fruity flavor followed by some hints of dried nuts and spice, with a drier finish.
This rye entry proof experiment follows on the heels of Buffalo Trace’s wheat entry proof experiment. Both the wheat and the rye experimental groups of barrels were distilled around the same time, aged in the same warehouse, on the same floor, rick, and row and bottled around the same time.
According to Buffalo Trace, both of these experiments proved that entry proof does affect Bourbon flavor as well as evaporation rates.
These will be available in 375ml bottles and has a suggested retail value of $46.35 a bottle.