Eagle Rare 10 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is crafted and carefully aged for no less than ten years by Buffalo Trace Distillery. It is one of the two most popular bourbons from the distillery with the other being Buffalo Trace Bourbon. Both bourbons use the same mashbill so what sets them apart is aging and barrel selection.
According to the bottle, “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — the cornerstones of the birth of a nation, epitomized by the American bald eagle. The nation has come to represent the freedom, spirt and independence of the individual, giving the world products and innovations that are uniquely its own. One such innovation was Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Early Kentucky settlers created bourbon, the true American spirit, in the late 1700s. By practice, and protected by law, no other distilled spirit adheres to standards as strict as those established for Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. And few other whiskeys can offer even a glimpse of the great whiskey making found in Eagle Rare. Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has a sweet, oaky nose and full complex body. Reminiscent of fine port wine, this rare whiskey is served neat, or over ice.”
Bourbon Review: Eagle Rare 10 Year
ABV: 45% (90 Proof)
Age: 10+ Years
Color: Dark Gold
Mash Bill:Buffalo Trace Mashbill #1 (Low Rye)
Distillery: Buffalo Trace
Location: Frankfort, KY (USA)
The Nose: An abundance of orange peel embraces the nostrils with nuances of honey, brown sugar, worn leather and oak. The Eagle Rare 10 Year aroma is inviting with a abundance of sweetness.
The Notes: Eagle Rare is a bit thin on the front end of the first sip, but it slowly coats the palate with an oily mouthfeel. It’s not an overly complex bourbon with straightforward notes of oak and white pepper. Additionally sips see a subtle honey and toasted almonds. The toasted almonds develop considerably on the long finish where they linger with oak.
The Pairing: I opted to pair the Eagle Rare with HVC Selección No. 1 for two reasons. The first being trivial due to the No. 1 of the cigar and mash bill tying things together. The other reason is the aggressive pepper of the HVC should cancel out the spice on the Eagle Rare and enhance the sweetness. It doesn’t always work out that way, but the cigar accomplished what I wanted it to do.
When paired together the Eagle Rare shines bright like a diamond. Notes of orange peel, honey and brown sugar encapsulate the palate. The white pepper and oak are considerably toned down. The result is a very different experience that worked for me. We don’t allow our pairing to affect our final score, but if we did it would be +2.
The Finish: When I first began drinking bourbon, Eagle Rare was the first I tried and I thoroughly disliked it. However, as I further went down the rabbit hole I decided to revisit it a couple of years later. Since then my palate and understanding of the craft has changed. The result is something I look forward to drinking specifically with a Nicaraguan cigar which tends to be spicier than other countries of origin.
Here in New Hampshire, Eagle Rare is $8 more expensive than Buffalo Trace and in a side by side comparison I am confident I would go with Buffalo Trace. My novice opinion feels as if the Eagle Rare is aged in a barrel with a bit more char which translate to less sweetness on the palate.
Despite my preference for Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare 10 Year gets the same score as its counterpart with the same mashbill.