Whiskey Review: Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old (2021 Buffalo Trace Antique)

, | December 16, 2021

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Buffalo Trace. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Buffalo Trace fans, I have some sad news if you have not heard already. Although the 2021 Antique Collection (BTAC) has been released, you will not be able to find the George T. Stagg to complete the series this year. Buffalo Trace had this to say: “This year, the lineup is missing George T. Stagg, the uncut, unfiltered 15-year-old whiskey. George T. Stagg will not be part of the release because the 15-year-old barrels do not meet the Distillery’s taste standards for the Stagg brand.”

At least we are assured the William Larue Weller, the Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye, the Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old, and the Sazerac 18-Year-Old Rye meet Buffalo Trace’s high quality standards. Eagle Rare is a standby for many bourbon drinkers with the core and 10-year-old offerings, but it is the over-aged BTAC Eagle Rare that collectors seek. If you were not lucky enough to get a bottle at its MSRP of $99, hopefully, you will be able to snag a taste of it.

The 2021 Eagle Rare 17 Year Old in the BTAC pays tribute to the 1974 launch of the Eagle Rare Brand. Originally, the whiskey was bottled at 101 proof compared to the current core offering at 90 proof. However, the BTAC Eagle Rare goes back to this original 101 proof. This year’s lot of the 17-year-old whiskey lost 73% to the angels. You can see why the BTAC has limited availability.

Eagle Rare 17 2021 review

Eagle Rare 17 2021 review (image via Buffalo Trace)

Tasting Notes: Eagle Rare 17 Year Old (2021 Buffalo Trace Antique)

Vital Stats: 50.5% ABV, 101 proof. Distilled in spring 2003. Aged 18 years and 6 months in #4 charred new American oak from warehouses C, Q, K, and M. The sour mash bill consists of Kentucky corn, Minnesota rye, and North Dakota malted barley. 750ml $99.

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Appearance: Tawny/polished mahogany

Nose: At first, baby powder and spearmint greet the nose. Bold red cherry quickly follows up the more delicate notes on the nose. Creamy cocoa comes through near the end.

Palate: Cedar and tobacco are the first things I taste. Overall, the whiskey is peppery with lots of cherry. The spearmint from the nose does come out on the finish. It is fairly tannic and bitter, but it is enjoyable.

The Takeaway


The 2021 Eagle Rare from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection is consistent in the flavor profile like last year. However, it is hotter to drink with the spice on the palate. The pepper is overpowering, too. Overall, I think the whiskey is lackluster in taste but still enjoyable on a big cube.

User Review
2.75 (4 votes)

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Courtney Kristjana

Courtney Kristjana is a leading whiskey taster in the country. She left a career in Gerontology after an article on Heather Greene inspired her to follow her passion for whiskey. She is studying to become a Master of Scotch and someday hopes she is nominated for the Keepers of the...