This is the second Buffalo Trace pick for both Tom’s and Flight Club. For this year’s pick, Flight Club members Scott Hill, Josh Cary and Charlie King sat down with Tom, James, and Keaton of Tom’s Wine & Spirits this past June to make the selection.
Like the previous selection in 2018, each of these samples was proofed down to 90 proof (45%), which is identical to the bottling proof.
Sample #1: Barrel Sample No. #042 (10-D-12-L-3-78)
Nose: Bright green apple Jolly Rancher candy; grape Sweet Tarts; vanilla; brown sugar; fresh linen; sweet lemon. Very light, fruity, and sweet.
Palate: More green apple Jolly Rancher coupled with a light oak; faint cinnamon. Very interesting flavors but a bit one-dimensional.
Finish: Medium in length. McDonald’s apple pie; vanilla; drying apple skin. The addition of the pie crust notes to the green apple flavors drives this one home.
Sample #2: Barrel Sample No. #154 (10-C-22-N-3-43)
Nose: Cherry; caramel; red grapes; green and red apple; sugared pie crust; grape Fun Dip; a hint of Red Hot candy at the back end. Complex but a bit burning for 90 proof.
Palate: Grape Nerds candy; vanilla taffy; powdered lemonade. Unusual but interesting.
Finish: Medium to short. Drying oak; vanilla salted taffy; chocolate. This finish was quite enjoyable, albeit a bit too short and dry. The added chocolate to the vanilla taffy flavors was very good.
Sample #3: Barrel Sample No. #249 (09-J-15-P-3-43)
Nose: Dehydrated green apples; cherry; butterscotch; waxy apple skin; Sierra Mist; Lemon Warhead candy; baking spice. Fruit and citrus, with a nice undertone of traditional bourbon butterscotch and baking spice notes.
Palate: Cherry; Lemon Warhead, light oak/faint cardboard; salt; oily/buttery popcorn; vanilla ice cream. This one brought age to the palate unlike the other picks and even a standard bottling.
Finish: Medium. Leather, fruit leather (cherry roll up); effervescent lemon seltzer; brine. A delicious leathery aged end to a nice Buffalo Trace experience.
With the three samples each individually reviewed, our task was to pick our favorite. Sample #3 rose to the top, followed closely by Sample #1. We found the complexity and age of Sample #3 to be better than the rest, and an interesting alternative to regular batch bottling.
Pick one up soon, as these tend to go fast at $24.99.
Scott is a co-founder of Flight Club and a frequent writer and reviewer on the Club’s blog.