Eagle Rare is a straight bourbon product of Buffalo Trace distillery, coming from the same mashbill as their flagship bourbon, Buffalo Trace. You can also find the white dog/new make from which this bourbon is made, Buffalo Trace White Dog Mash #1. Eagle Rare is aged for 10 years, as a single barrel product – thus, it’s flavour profile will be less consistent than that of a blended product. Consequently, you would expect ratings to vary from bottle to bottle. It is a lighter, softer, and more fruity brother to Buffalo Trace Bourbon with more citrus, and a bit less honey.
Nose: vanilla, toffee and brown sugar comes first, followed with some caramel and oak. Quite a light nose – the rye doesn’t seem as present as in Buffalo Trace. there’s a fruitiness (dried fruit)- dried apple, apricot, dried orange peel, and raisins. And a touch of dusty rye is there too. The vanilla and caramel are lovely in the nose, along with the light fruit. As it sits, the rye does come out a bit more. The corn is ever present – sweet and sour – I can smell cornmeal. I do quite like the nose! It’s oddly sour – which isn’t bad – rather, it’s interesting. 26/30 (87%)
Taste: soft, smooth and light sour citrus followed by a rush of corn and dried apricot before the oak begins to come in with the glowing rye spice. I was a bit let down, hoping the fruit and vanilla would come out better on the palate than they did, but unfortunately it was not so. There was, perhaps, more citrus than I expected from the nose at first- but as I went back I found the citrus indeed present in the nose. 24/30 (80%)
Finish: The rye plays with the mouth for a bit and it dries out with some oak remaining. Some of the rye is a bit dull, unfortunately. But, the mouth tingles for a bit with the spice, which I quite like. There’s a touch of maple and lemon on the finish as well. Fills the mouth, and starts it watering for a bit more. Always what we like to see! It’s a hard one to mark – I love certain aspects a lot – the spice, the citrus, the dry-ness, but there are parts I don’t like – the stale and slightly bitter rye. There’s a bit of nice earthiness as well. 17.5/20 (88%)
Conclusion: it’s quite pleasant, a nice mix of sweet and spice, and very enjoyable. Not a whisky, though, which will capture your attention for hours on end. But, it is very enjoyable. The nose, certainly, is great. But, I do wish for a bit more complexity and aggressiveness on the palate – it doesn’t demand my attention the way I wish it did and the way the nose suggests it might. 16.5/20 (83%)
Overall Score: 84/100