The distillers have been up to it again at Buffalo Trace Distillery. The latest round of whiskies in the Experimental Collection are two bourbons: one made with rice and one made with oats. And like their breakfast-sounding names, both provide a hearty mouthful without being over powerful.
“For this experiment, we were curious to taste what would happen when we substituted the rye grain in our traditional recipe with other grains like rice and oats,” says Harlen Wheatley, master distiller at Buffalo Trace Distillery. “The results are very different from each other, and different than typical bourbon, but both are pleasant surprises.”
Details are as follows:
Rice Bourbon Whiskey – These barrels were filled on April 30, 2002, and aged on the seventh floor of Warehouse I for 9 years, 5 months. Corn, malt and rice are the ingredients used in the recipe, resulting in a very clean aroma with the barrel notes of caramel and spice. A crisp flavor on the tongue is noticed, without any heaviness or oiliness. A slight dryness near the end provides a quick finish. It is a very delicate whiskey.
Oat Bourbon Whiskey – These barrels have the same fill date, aging location and aging time as the Rice Bourbon. Corn, malt and oats are the ingredients used in this recipe, resulting in a pleasantly smoky nose with a rich aroma of toasted oats that offers a nice complexity. On the palette, the smokiness intrigues as hints of dried fig and stone fruit come through, and eventually give way to an earthy finish.
There are more than 1,500 experimental barrels of whiskey now aging in the warehouses of Buffalo Trace Distillery. Each of these barrels has unique characteristics that differentiate it from all others. Some examples of these experiments include unique mash bills, type of wood and barrel toasts. In order to further increase the scope, flexibility and range of the experimental program, an entire micro distillery, named The Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. “OFC” Micro Distillery, complete with cookers, fermenting tanks and a state-of-the-art micro still has been constructed within Buffalo Trace Distillery.