By Father John Rayls
Buffalo Trace Organic 6 Grain Bourbon Whiskey (Experimental Collection) is simply one more very interesting experimental bottling from Buffalo Trace. This has been going on for at least 20 years and now includes over 14,000 aging barrels, at least one dedicated warehouse and an exclusive micro distillery. They are investigating creative mashbills, various oak barrels, levels of char, and even environmental forces affecting the final tasting experience. Releases can be as often as once a year, but are not limited to any certain schedule. The 2017 release is a bourbon, but is labeled as a whiskey (rather than bourbon) because of its unusual taste profile. The mashbill is a secret other than it includes 6 grains and is at least 51% corn. The grains used include corn, buckwheat, brown rice, sorghum, wheat and rye. Eight barrels were filled at 130 proof with BT’s standard number 4 char. After 7 years and 1 month of barrel aging in Warehouse H, Buffalo Trace chill filtered and bottled this whiskey at 90 proof. They even went so far as to have this whiskey organically certified. They have scheduled May 2017 for a very limited release date.
Buffalo Trace Distillery is known for creating some of the very best bourbon in the country. Interestingly, they are also known for their innovation. Family owned, they appear to be focused on producing whiskey that continues their great family tradition and maintaining their legacy. The Organic 6 Grain Whiskey easily fits in that spectrum. In the glass, this bourbon is a light to medium copper with brass highlights. The legs are prolific and appear to “freeze” on the sides of the glass creating an interesting and unusual visual impact. The nose is of medium intensity and appears complex. (I think this is the first time I’ve ever said that about a whiskey.) It is filled with oak and grain and herbs. The complexity is underneath, but is very earthy with a very light sweetness.
The nose and the taste profile match up almost one to one. It is a light to medium bodied whiskey with little coating of the mouth. However, it is complex. It’s dry, herbal, grainy, woody and definitely earthy. There is a very slight hint of grain alcohol and a genuine taste of “old” (whatever that is). It drinks slightly hot. The finish is long, hot and peppery. Most of the mouth action is at the back half of the mouth. The finish begins in the back as well before gradually involving the sides and tip of the tongue. The finish concludes on the lips with them slightly vibrating even after the taste has eventually faded.
The cost is not the good news of this review. The Buffalo Trace Organic 6 Grain Bourbon Whiskey (Experimental Collection) is offered in a 375ml bottle from a very limited supply. As a result, suggested retail is between $46.00 and $47.00 for the half sized bottle. However, if you are interested in trying a very unusual and yet interesting bourbon, this may be exactly your bourbon du jour.