Buffalo Trace Distillery has announced the return of its award-winning Antique Collection for the fall 2023 season, showcasing the products that best represent the Distillery’s exceptional craftmanship and dedication to distilling high-quality, award-winning spirits. This year’s portfolio includes all five Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC) staples: George T. Stagg Bourbon, Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye Whiskey, Sazerac Rye 18-Year-Old Whiskey, William Larue Weller Bourbon, and a milestone for this year, the oldest Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old Bourbon in the collection’s history.
The spirits in the Antique Collection are aged and proofed at the pinnacle of their flavor profiles to embody the best possible expression of each whiskey. Each expression is stored in a unique crystal-clear glass bottle to showcase its gorgeous color, complemented with a back label that provides a complete product story and description. The limited-edition Antique Collection bottles are sold separately and will be available at retail in early October at a suggested retail price of $124.99 (local taxes and fees will vary).
Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old Bourbon
At 19 years and three months old, this year’s Eagle Rare-17-Year-Old Bourbon marks the oldest release of the spirit since its 23-year inclusion in the Antique Collection. This whiskey was distilled in the spring of 2004, and barrels were aged in Warehouses C, I, K, M, and Q. Eagle Rare 17 is once again bottled at 101 proof in tribute to the original Eagle Rare brand launched in 1975. The expression imbues tasting notes of dark chocolate and cherry pie filling on the nose with a well-balanced flavor of caramel-drizzled chocolate sponge cake, finishing with dry and spicy notes of an earthy cigar box. The 2022 Eagle Rare 17 release won Taste Master for the 2023 American Whiskey Masters, making it the overall winner of the entire competition.
George T. Stagg Bourbon
At 135 proof, the 2023 George T. Stagg offering was distilled in the spring of 2008, and its barrels were aged in Warehouses C, I, K, L, and M. This powerful 15 years and 4-months-old bourbon is described as having scents of cinnamon and cherry cola and a well-balanced mix of leather, chocolate, and vanilla on the palate, complete with a robust, earthy finish. Last season’s George T. Stagg placed 1st for the Best American Whisky in the 2023 International Whisky Competition.
Sazerac Rye 18-Year-Old Whiskey
The 2023 Sazerac 18-Year-Old Straight Rye Whiskey release flaunts a scent of dried orange, rye grain, clove and aniseed, a palate of black pepper, vanilla, and waves of oak, and a florally honey and tobacco leaf finish. This collection of rye whiskey barrels was filled between the fall of 2004 and the spring of 2005 and aged in Warehouses K, L, and M. The previous release of Sazerac Rye 18 earned the Gold Medal in the 2023 American Whiskey Masters.
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye Whiskey
The 2023 Thomas H. Handy expression is comprised of barrels aged for over six years. Initially launched in response to a consumer request for more well-aged and barrel-strength whiskey, this uncut, unfiltered straight rye whiskey clocks in at 124.9 proof. The flavor profile includes an aroma of orange zest and lemon oil, caramel, and hints of pine. On the palate, freshly baked rye bread spread with orange marmalade and honey appear first, followed by a lingering finish of light oak and black licorice. Judges at The Spirits Business 2023 American Whiskey Masters awarded last season’s Handy a Master Medal.
William Larue Weller Bourbon
Crafted in response to a consumer request for more well-aged and barrel-strength whiskey, William Larue Weller is the Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon. This year’s offering was distilled in the spring of 2011, and its barrels were aged in Warehouses C, L, M, and N. The 2023 William Larue Weller bourbon registers at 133.6 proof, surpassing last year’s proof offering of 124.7. Candied notes of dark brown sugar and vanilla bean are found on the nose, followed by a warm and full palate with stewed cherry and brown sugar crumble and a robust, dense finish enveloped with baking spice and a hint of maple syrup. The 2022 Antique Collection Weller secured a Master Medal during the 2023 American Whiskey Masters.