Monday, March 27, 2017

Tasting: Eagle Rare. Single Barrel - 10 Years

Eagle Rare. Single Barrel - 10 Years
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Distillery: Buffalo Trace
Age: 10 years
Proof/ABV: 90/45%.
Mash bill: Buffalo Trace #1, low rye (supposedly 10% or less)
Average Swedish price: Not available in Sweden.
Release: Ongoing, but not available in Sweden.

Points: 88/100

Medium amber.

Rubber hits me first and then comes big barrel char. I get vanilla and sweetness. Honey maybe, a little fruit–figs or maybe raisins but I find myself struggling to get past the fantastic barrel char, which dominates the nose, but never gets obtrusive.

Mellow sweet oak and honey from the start. While searching for notes from then on, something hits me: everything I got on the nose I get in the taste as well, which I love. The linger is more of a feeling than a taste. A little fresh, a subtle burn, but it never gets sharp. It’s so refined and round all throughout.

Mouth feel:
Pleasant, smooth but with character. Absolutely nowhere close to thin, but not noticeably viscous or oily either.

The Eagle Rare brand was introduced in 1975, and was up until 2005 a 10 year-stated 101 proof. The brand was then re-introduced as a single barrel expression with a new proof and new bottle design.

The modern iteration of Eagle Rare has gone through some label changes since 2005. What I am reviewing is a bottle from 2010, when it was still a single barrel. The reason it’s not a single barrel today, according to Buffalo Trace, is because of a technical detail in the bottling which prohibits them from guaranteeing that every single drop in each bottle is from a single barrel.

In my opinion as a layman–this bottles claim to fame is that it’s aged right. It’s balanced and round but not without point. It has deep sweet notes, but more homemade jam than weird Slimer-colored video store mystery candy. The main sensation is a bit fleeing, but yet so good it just makes me want more right away. This is absolutely a bottle I could finish way too soon if I don’t restrain myself.

In many cases flash gets all the attention. Oldest, strongest, most expensive. What I like in bourbon however, as in life in general–is balance. Everything at full volume all the time gets tiring. If you want to impress me: show me some restraint. Don’t show off, but at the same time let me know that you know what you’re doing, and that what you are doing you’re doing on purpose.

I love that Eagle Rare isn’t the loudest kid in class. Eagle Rare sits by the window, gets all the questions right, but then at the end of the day rides home on a skateboard. Eagle Rare is not a chest bump–it’s a subtle nod.

Photo & Review By: Erik Hasselgärde