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Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey




Whiskey Review: Eagle Rare 10 Year Old

Tasting Notes:

A classic expression from the Buffalo Trace Distillery, Eagle Rare bourbon was created in 1975 by Charles L. Beam. Initially distilled at Seagram’s Four Roses Distillery, the expression has been produced at Buffalo Trace since 1992. Apart from the obvious 51% corn, the mash bill is a mystery. However, some estimate less than 10% rye in the mash bill.
Light sherry
Buttery corn and super fruity red wine! Think Beaujolais nouveau, grape juice, grape Fanta but with booze! There is a hot honey note running right through the middle of this that I love. Quite a lot of nuttiness, too. Think about cashews and peanuts. Also, some classic birthday notes of chocolate cake covered in rich vanilla icing, maybe even marzipan.
Light arrival with more of that peanut oil flavor profile. More of those fruity red wine notes, but getting a little drier and tannic. Perhaps even a smoky note from heavily charred new casks. Some stone fruit notes of peach and apricot, a little more of that hot honey! I’m loving that note in this.
The dryness is a little more present now, but not unpleasant. The spice from new casks, sweet corn, chilli spices, a little note of acetone from the distillation process, finishing off with more of these winey notes.
I thought I’d put myself off this whiskey by drinking half a bottle and playing Red Dead Redemption 2 until a silly time in the morning, but it’s still a gold standard in American whiskey making.

Eagle Rare 10 Year Old has long been a beloved expression under Buffalo Trace‘s portfolio.

The brand was first introduced in 1975 by Charles L. Beam, the grandnephew of Jim Beam. In 1989, the brand was purchased by Sazerac and, since 1992, the bourbon has been produced at Buffalo Trace Distillery.

One of the enduring mysteries of Eagle Rare 10 Year Old is the mash bill. We know that the bourbon is produced using Buffalo Trace’s mash bill #1, the same as some other brands such as George T. Stagg and Col. E.H. Taylor Jr. Of course, the mash bill is at least 51% corn (otherwise Eagle Rare 10 could not be classed as ‘bourbon’), but the rest is a mystery. There is a general acceptance that there is less than 10% rye in the mash bill, but the exact quantity is not known.

The whiskey is matured for at least 10 years in “alligator barrels”. These barrels are charred for a minimum of one minute, leaving deep and charred ridges in the wood. The ridges encourage more interaction between whiskey and wood, giving Eagle Rare a rich and complex profile.

Despite its relative affordability in comparison to other luxury bourbons, Eagle Rare 10 Year Old remains difficult to get a hold of in the USA. This is due to limited release numbers, and allocations to specific bars, retailers, and restaurants.


Phil Dwyer

Having worked in whisky retail for a decade, and running Whisky Wednesday on YouTube for nearly as long, Phil has always wanted to learn, talk and tell everyone as much about whisky as he can.

Whisky can be overly complicated at times. Phil wants to end that. Brands have pushed far too much jargon into the drinking atmosphere; it's difficult to breathe when whisky is mentioned at times.

Phil also manages The Whisky Shop Manchester stocking some of the best drams on the market.

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