Buffalo Trace, through its Experimental Collection, has showcased a number of interesting whiskey releases over the years. The newest offering from the Collection is upon us, taking the form of a Baijiu style spirit aged in new American oak casks.
The new Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection Baijiu style bottling, according to those behind it, is distilled like a whiskey but produced using traditional Baijiu ingredients of sorghum and peas. After aging the distillate for 11 years in three separate casks, uncharred, charred and toasted white oak, the spirits were married together and bottled at 90 proof.
Baijiu, for those that don’t know what it is, is regarded as the largest selling spirit in the world, accounting for about 31 percent of spirits volume globally, according to the International Wine and Spirits Record (IWSR, 9L volume, calendar year 2019). It is similar to bourbon in that it is an agricultural product made from fermented grains.
The intriguing flavor profile, it was noted in a prepared statement, and rise in the spirit’s popularity led to Buffalo Trace’s curiosity in experimenting with distilling baijiu like a bourbon to create a rich and unique spirit. Official tasting notes indicate the nose is rich and savory, with notes of chocolate, dark cherries and stone fruit. The sorghum and peas provide a palate of confection sugar, followed by a sweet toffee finish.
The Experimental Collection is packaged in 375ml bottles, and each label includes all the pertinent information unique to that barrel of whiskey. Experimental Collection Baijiu style can be found in select markets and will be available beginning in late April or early May. Quantities are extremely limited, and it prices around $47.
As for the larger Collection, this release is the 24th bottling from it since the series inception in 2006. The Experimental Collection includes thousands of different recipes and barrel treatments which are tested and refined. These experiments examine a variety of unique variables from changes in the mash bill, types of wood, barrel toasts and more.
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...