Over the past few years, Eagle Rare 17 has been of the more elusive Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC) bottles. In 2016, we were not able to purchase a bottle, but we reviewed the release at our one of favorite establishments, The Monarch, in Wichita, Kansas.
As we previously reported, this year’s batch of Eagle Rare 17 consisted of 36 barrels “selected by taste,” with an overall 89.5% evaporation loss. While the precise number of bottles isn’t known, the anticipated yield is 1,461 bottles, down 2,731 from last year. This is the only BTAC bottle seeing lower quantities than last year, with a total yield so staggeringly low that we at Flight Club had no real expectations of getting to try this year’s bottle.
Eagle Rare 17 (2017 Release) (17 Years, 3 months) (90 Proof)
Nose: You can nose this from across the room; sweet; vanilla; creme brûlée; leather; oak; grilled corn; pepper; some citrus and mixed berry. 4.5/5
Palate: A bit spicier than the nose would suggest; white pepper; grilled corn; leather; orange zest; cherry; almonds; creamy, but somewhat of a dry palate. 4/5
Finish: Medium-long in length; lingering palate sweetness combined with grilled corn/oak at the back of the mouth; burnt sugar; sweet cream; a bit drying with some lingering oak and cocoa. 3.5/5
Overall: This bottle is a bit different than the 2016. Last year, we found the release to be a bit more herbal/floral. In this 2017 release, those same elements came across to us more as a grilled corn flavor. In 2016, I personally found the release to be slightly over oaked, with heavy emphasis overall on the oak and chocolate notes. I believe that is subdued a bit this year. I find this year’s release to be equally as enjoyable, but for slightly different reasons. The nose on the Eagle Rare 17 (2017) is incredible for a 90 proof whiskey and really helps pull the overall enjoyability up from an otherwise less impressive palate and finish. 4/5.
Value: From an overall cost versus enjoyment analysis (excluding the collectability value), this pour offers a bit more than expected. The age and complexity justify every penny of the near $100 price tag. 3.5/5
“The nose on the Eagle Rare 17 (2017) is incredible for a 90 proof whiskey and really helps pull the overall enjoyability up from an otherwise less impressive palate and finish.”
Scott is a co-founder of Flight Club and a frequent writer and reviewer on the Club’s blog.