Review #1074 – Buffalo Trace Antique Collection: Thomas H. Handy Rye 2018

Review #1074 | Bourbon Review #549 – Buffalo Trace Antique Collection: Thomas H Handy 2018

The Schtick: WhistlePig is a hybrid spirits operation in Vermont that has previously staked its claim on importing rye whiskey from Alberta to age and bottle in Vermont. In the past, I’ve bumped into some of their single barrel ryes and found them really enjoyable. In recent months, WhistlePig has made a switch to digging up some older MGP rye stock for their 10 year old single barrel barrel proof rye, as well. As a result, I have set out to try 25 WhistlePig single barrel ryes to get a lay of the land. They were arranged, poured and blinded by a generous fellow who loves rye as much (or very plausibly more so) than I do. There are one or two non-WhistlePig ryes in here, also, so the stakes are pretty high. All blind, all in. Welcome to the 2019 Ryenaissance.

Let’s dig in. 

This is Day 19 out of 26. At this point I have tasted all samples and taken their notes, and then gotten their reveals so that I could fill in the reveal portion at the bottom. Therefore, while you have the luxury of seeing what dram was what as we go along day by day, I was in the dark until day 26. All samples were tasted blind in a new staggered 2 pour setup, before completing the project. In case you missed the previous days, here they are:

Distiller: Buffalo Trace

Bottler: Buffalo Trace

ABV: 64.4% ABV

Age: 6 Years

Nose: Sweet musty caramel. Fresh baked cake. Sweet butter cream. Werther’s caramels. Light oak. 

Taste: Rich and thick palate. Very little heat. Sweet honey, peanuts, peanut brittle. Salted caramel. Oak and pepper develop, as well as some mild growing heat. Lovely Blend of sweet and savory, giving way to some strong bittering structure. 

Finish: Long and rich. Really rich nougat note. Some oak. Peanut brittle. Light pepper and pipe tobacco. Strong baking spices. Heat grows to be very strong in the finish, though. 

Overall: This was a really interesting ride, and one I really enjoyed. If the heat were a little tamer, this would be exceptional. 

Reveal: Thomas H Handy 2018 128.8. Ooh this was a bamboozle, and it got me. Really interesting how tamed the herbal qualities were in this vintage. Could easily pass for something from Alberta.

Thanks for reading!

Rank: 6

Other Buffalo Trace Expressions I Have Reviewed:



1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out.

2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice.

3 | Bad | Multiple flaws.

4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but many things I’d rather have.

5 | Good | Good, just fine.

6 | Very Good | A cut above.

7 | Great | Well above average

8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional.

9 | Incredible | An all time favorite

10 | Perfect | Perfect


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