It’s fall season and that means time for the 2019 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection of bourbon and rye whiskey.
This much-anticipated collection will once again feature five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs. First introduced more than a decade ago, these bottles are among the highest-ranked, most-awarded whiskeys in the world every year.
The 2019 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection includes:
George T. Stagg
This year’s bourbon comes in at a lower proof of 116.9 — the lowest in the whiskey’s history. For the reason why, Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley cites barrels located on the lower warehouse floors.
“Many of the barrels for this year’s Stagg composite were taken from the first floor of the warehouse,” he says. “The first floor is cooler with higher humidity levels, therefore the alcohol evaporates faster than the water.”
The taste, however, is still what Stagg fans can expect: vanilla and toasted oak with a floral undertone, the company says, followed by a finish of cherries, coffee and black pepper.
This year’s release contains bourbon from barrels filled in the spring of 2004. Storage location of these barrels varied across warehouses C, H, I, K and Q. The evaporation loss for this year’s batch was 56% — a bit higher than last year’s release.
William Larue Weller
The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered wheated recipe bourbon. The 2019 offering was distilled in the winter of 2007 and aged in Warehouse I.
This bourbon registers in at 128 proof. Flavors include toasted vanilla and coffee.
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye
An uncut, unfiltered straight rye whiskey. This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2013; aged in warehouses K, M, and N, and weighs in at 125.7 proof.
The flavor profile includes creamy butterscotch and vanilla.
Eagle Rare 17 Year Old
Last year’s release returned to Eagle Rare’s roots with a proof change from the previous 90 proof back to 101 proof, in tribute to the original strength used when the brand first launched in 1974.
The proof remains at 101 this year, and will continue forward.
This year’s release was distilled in the Spring of 2002, and has been spending its time aging on the first floor of Warehouse P. This bourbon tastes of cocoa, caramel and oak.
Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old
This 2019 straight rye whiskey release has flavors of vanilla and maple syrup, with a finish of black pepper and spearmint. The barrels for this whiskey were filled in the spring of 2001, and it rested on the second floor of Warehouses K and L.
The 2019 Antique Collection whiskeys will be available in limited quantities starting in late September, or early October. The suggested retail price is $99 each, per 750-ml. bottle.