2020 Bourbon Heritage Month is certainly like no other month in its history since it was officially created in 2007. The good news is bourbon continues to be made (at record levels), barrels continue to be dumped and bottles continue to be filled every day. Though the Covid-19 pandemic may have slowed down tourism the thirst for bourbon whiskey has continued to grow and annual releases keep arriving.
Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky has announced the 2020 Antique Collection of whiskeys release. The highly regarded collection will once again feature five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs.
Here’s the complete breakdown of the 2020 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection lineup.
George T. Stagg
The proverbial powerhouse favorite of the Antique Collection, George T. Stagg, comes in at 130.4 proof this year. Last year’s release was awarded 97 points in the 2020 Ultimate Spirits Collection, and fans will find the familiar Stagg taste profile they know and love with cinnamon, caramel and cherries on the nose, and a creamy vanilla with lightly smoked oak on the palate. The finish is black coffee, dark cherries and herbs.
This year’s release contains bourbon from barrels filled in the spring of 2005. Storage location of these barrels varied across warehouses L, K and Q. The evaporation loss for this year’s batch was 59%, a bit higher than the last few year’s releases.
William Larue Weller
The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon is William Larue Weller. Previous editions of this wheater have won many accolades, including the 2019 release receiving a Gold Medal at the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition and also named 2nd finest whiskey in the world in the esteemed “Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible.” The 2020 release was distilled in the winter of 2008 and aged in Warehouses I and C. This bourbon registers at 134.5 proof. Flavors of a soft caramel chew, spearmint and cinnamon can be found on the palate in this year’s offering.
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye
Thomas H. Handy is the uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. Last year’s release earned The Chairman’s Trophy, scoring 99 points at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge and was also named 3rd finest whiskey in the world in “Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible.” This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2014; aged in warehouses K, M, and N, and weighs in at 129.0 proof. The flavor profile includes cinnamon, anise and honey.
Eagle Rare 17 Year Old
This 101 proof whiskey was distilled in Spring of 2002 and aged on the first floor of Warehouse P. The 2019 release of this bourbon was named “Best of Category” at the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition. This bourbon has a nose of ripe cherries, vanilla cream and oak, followed by a taste of caramel and coffee and a long finish of oak, pepper and fresh herbs.
Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old
The previous edition of Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old was named “Best Rye Whiskey Aged 11 Years and Over” by “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.” This 2020 straight rye whiskey release has notable flavors of oak, caramel and dark chocolate, with a finish of coffee, black pepper and cherries. The barrels for this whiskey were filled in the spring of 2002 and it rested on the third floor of Warehouse K. It is bottled at 90 proof.
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Buffalo Trace Distillery Releases Limited Supply 2019 Bourbon & Rye Antique Collection – 90° to 128° Proof
Buffalo Trace Distillery Releases 2018 Bourbon & Rye Antique Collection – 17 Year Old Eagle Rare Now 101°
Buffalo Trace Distillery Releases 2017 Antique Collection – 90 to 129.2 Proof
Buffalo Trace Distillery Releases 2016 Antique Collection – 90 to 144 Proof
Buffalo Trace Distillery Releases 2015 Antique Collection Whiskeys – 90 to 138 Proof
Buffalo Trace Distillery 2015 Antique Collection Whiskeys by the Numbers
The Antique Collection was introduced two decades ago and has become a cult favorite among whiskey connoisseurs. Since 2000 these whiskeys have garnered numerous awards from such notable publications as Whisky Advocate Magazine, Spirit Journal, and “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.”
The 2020 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC) whiskeys will be available in limited quantities starting in late September or early October. The suggested retail price for each bottle is $99 each. Good luck!
Buffalo Trace Distillery is once again welcoming bourbon fans back to the distillery for tours. Pre-registration is required.