Buffalo Trace Brings Forth A New Experimental Wheat Bourbon

The Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection, as we’ve chronicled over time, is a rather fascinating look into the variety of small batch experiments this cornerstone Kentucky whiskey distillery carries out. The first experiment began in 2006, and there is something like over 25,000 experimental  barrels of whiskey aging in their warehouses at this point. A new release just announced is now the 23rd such offering in this line up.

The new Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection 12 Year Old Wheated Bourbon, according to those behind it, heralds from a barrel that was filled with Buffalo Trace’s wheat mash recipe, entering into its wooden container at 114 proof. It was put away to age on Dec. 10, 2007 and, after four years of aging in Warehouse C the barrel was removed, the bourbon was cut with water to lower it down to 100 proof, and then put back into the same barrel and left to age another eight years in the same warehouse. 

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection 12 Year Old Wheated Bourbon

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection 12 Year Old Wheated Bourbon (image via Buffalo Trace)

“We’ve always known water was a necessary component in making whiskey,” stated Buffalo Trace Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley in a prepared statement. “This experiment helped us to understand how important a role water actually plays in whiskey production.  The result of this experiment led us to a bourbon that is actually one of my favorite experiments.”

This particular bourbon, like other whiskeys from the Experimental Collection, is packaged in 375 ml bottles, and each label includes all the pertinent information unique to that barrel of whiskey. Bottled at 90 proof, it is pricing for around $47 and should be at retail in May, with the release having limited availability.

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You’ll find some official tasting notes for this whiskey below. It should be noted as well of the experimental barrels that each “has unique characteristics that differentiate them in distinct ways. Some examples of experiments include unique mash bills, types of wood, and different barrel toasts. Buffalo Trace also has an experimental warehouse, Warehouse X, which is designed to explore the extent of environmental influences on the flavor profiles of whiskey.”

A nose that is sweet and floral, with notes of oak, vanilla, and a bit of leather. There’s a really smooth creamy mouthfeel here.  The taste is a pleasing balance of butterscotch, honey, and wood with a crisp finish.