The Buffalo Trace Antique Collection was first introduced a little over ten years ago. It features five whiskeys (two ryes and three bourbons) that are some of the most highly sought-after in the market. Each is a pillar in the limited edition whiskey industry.
For 2018, the announcement comes weeks later than it has previously. But nevertheless, the vital stats for each bottle are as follows:
George T. Stagg: clocks in this year at 124.9 proof (last year’s release was 129.2 proof) and 15 years and 4 months old (last year’s release was 15 years, 3 months). There were 284 barrels selected. Last year, there were 309 barrels. Based on bottle estimates, this means there should be approximately 37,111 bottles released (886 less than last year).
William Larue Weller: 125.7 proof (last year’s release was 128.2 proof) and 12 years and 6 months old (last year’s release was the same age). There were 149 barrels selected this year, which should translate into about 17,179 bottles (about 1,861 less than 2017).
Eagle Rare 17 Year-Old: This is always at least 17 years old. But this year, it is an eye-popping 18 years and 4 months old! But the big change comes in the proof. For over a decade, this has also been released at 90 proof. This year, the proof is increased to 101, which is a nod to a vintage release under this brand name, even before it was a Buffalo Trace product. From now forward, it will continue to be 101 proof. There were 45 barrels selected, which should result in only about 1,627 bottles (166 more than last year).
Sazerac Rye 18 Year-Old: As always, this is 90 proof and at least 18 years old. This is also the third year of pulling the rye from barrels that are presently aging, as opposed to tanked whiskey that had previously been aged. There were 24 barrels selected. Only 2,532 bottles are expected to be released.
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac: 128.8 proof (last year’s release was 127.2 proof) and, as always, 6 years old. There were 73 barrels selected, which should equate to 14,548 bottles (527 more than last year).
Release dates for these vary from state to state, but typically begin near the end of September/early October. Suggested retail price is $99 each, but expect to see a markup.
Happy hunting, and please remember, be courteous to your store owners and fellow hunters.
Gentlemen devoted to the finest.