Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky has announced a new addition to its Eagle Rare Bourbon family. The latest release is a super-limited ultra-aged 25-year-old Eagle Rare Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey. The family now includes a 10-year-old, 17-year-old, 20-year-old and now the Eagle Rare 25 year, quarter century old bourbon, the oldest expression ever released in the Eagle Rare portfolio.
It’s often said that with age comes wisdom. In this case with age comes many angels sipping at these old barrels and netting out only 200 750ml bottles with a suggested retail price point of $10,000 per bottle. Similar to the other older members of the portfolio Eagle Rare 25 is bottled at 101 proof (50.5% ABV). And before you get into your car to go pick up a bottle you should know that it will only be available at select retailers, bars, and restaurants globally beginning November 2023.
Buffalo Trace Distillery Experimental Warehouse P
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Driven by a belief that the world’s best whiskey has yet to be created and the idea that the category is bound only by the ideas that have yet to be considered, Buffalo Trace Distillery has conducted thousands of experiments over the years to test a variety of factors impacting the aging and maturation of whiskey, including barrel char levels, temperature, airflow, light, barrel placement, and more. Eagle Rare 25 is the first release from Warehouse P, one of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s two experimental warehouses. A purpose-built, state-of-the-art warehouse, Warehouse P was constructed to test if it was possible to extend favorably both the aging and maturation processes typical for American whiskey and bourbon.
“Eagle Rare 25 defies the conventional limits of typical bourbon aging,” remarked Buffalo Trace Distillery Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley. “When crafting whiskey in conditions like those we experience in Kentucky, two reactions happen over time: more liquid is lost due to evaporation – also known as angel’s share – and extraction of flavors from the barrel becomes more intense, often leading older whiskeys to taste over-oaked, astringent, and dry.
“The unique set of aging conditions in Warehouse P has allowed us to create a 25-year-old bourbon that smooths out the extractions and highlights the desirable flavors found in ultra-aged American whiskey products.”
While time in the barrel contributes to creating an ultra-aged bourbon, it is the marriage of age and maturity, or how factors including oak type, barrel char, temperature, humidity, and barrel placement alter the whiskey over time, that creates a truly outstanding taste experience.
“We closely monitored Eagle Rare 25 throughout the aging process and discovered that the impact over time due to controlled, extended aging was optimally mature whiskey – by that, I mean whiskey that is uniquely smooth and complex with deep, mature flavors around every corner,” Wheatley added. “Eagle Rare 25 is unlike any other extra-aged bourbon on the market today. We are quite proud of this bourbon.”
What Makes Warehouse P Unique
Experimental Warehouse P is a 50,000 barrel warehouse built in 2018. Eagle Rare 25 did not spend all 25 years in Warehouse P because the warehouse has not been around that long. In 2018 when the warehouse was completed a multitude of barrels of varying ages were moved into Warehouse P for experimentation, including what is now Eagle Rare 25. Within Warehouse P is a unique section that contains a tightly controlled environment, allowing the distillery to test the impact environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, air flow, etc. have on the aging of whiskey over time.
In a Whiskey Wednesday video from a few years ago Buffalo Trace Distillery VIP Visitor Lead and Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame member Freddie Johnson shared some insights on Warehouse P. The main takeaway was that a portion of Warehouse P is refrigerated to keep the temperature in and around the barrel cool. Unlike a traditional Kentucky warehouse where you want to encourage temperature swings that will push the maturing bourbon in and out of the barrel, this portion of Experimental Warehouse P is chilled so that whiskey does not move in and out of the barrel. This allows the barometric pressure to move the whiskey in and out of the wood and should also help to lessen the loss to the angels.
Eagle Rare 25 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Tasting Notes
Defying existing perception of ultra-aged bourbon with its smooth, complex flavor profile, Eagle Rare 25 is a remarkable result from the World’s Most Award-winning Distillery’s multi-decade and $20-million-dollar-plus experimental program.
Tasting notes provided by the distillery say Eagle Rare 25 boasts notes of intense cherry, oak, dark chocolate, and an icing drizzle beginning on the nose; the palate is a balance of vanilla, dark fruit, and butterscotch, followed by an extremely long finish with lingering notes of rickhouse floor, baking spice, and black pepper.
Eagle Rare 25 was bottled upon reaching its silver anniversary in the barrel, symbolized by the custom sterling silver wing hand-hammered to encase each hand-blown crystal decanter perfectly. Opening the custom display box reveals an eagle’s outstretched wings framing the 101-proof bourbon, which also contains an elegant glass eagle inside the bottle. This dramatic presentation is befitting the exceptional nature of this rare, first-of-its-kind bottling.
“Around the globe, an eagle’s wings symbolize freedom and the opportunity to reach higher. It’s also a reminder for us at Buffalo Trace Distillery to never settle in our pursuit of crafting the perfect bourbon,” noted Andrew Duncan, Global Brand Director at Buffalo Trace Distillery. “In service of that relentless pursuit, Eagle Rare 25 is the pinnacle of American whiskey to date from our Distillery, and our Eagle Rare brand is the perfect portfolio to showcase this barrier-breaking expression.”
How to Get Your Hands on a $10,000 Bottle of Eagle Rare 25
You know the old saying if you have to ask you can’t afford it well, there you go. But of course, we do want to know.
Buffalo Trace is releasing approximately 200 750ml bottles of Eagle Rare 25 to select retailers, bars, and restaurants globally beginning November 2023 at a suggested retail price of $10,000 per bottle. The expression joins the Eagle Rare lineup of Eagle Rare, Double Eagle Very Rare, and Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old, released each fall as part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection.
Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1775 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee. Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as listed on the National Register of Historic Places.