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Buffalo Trace: The Latest Experiment in Bourbon

In Frankfort, Kentucky there lies Buffalo Trace Distillery. A laboratory, if you will, where an experiment with bourbon is taking place. “Scientists” at Buffalo Trace are conducting a test to see if the altitude in which a bourbon is aged affects the flavor.

What they are calling the Warehouse Floors Experiment was started in 2001 in the distillery’s Warehouse K. What they did was place Buffalo Trace’s Rye Mash recipe #1 bourbon into barrels and then aged different ones on floors one, five and nine of the warehouse. Warehouse K is home to nine wooden floors, each providing a different taste during the aging process. Why that is is due to the varying temperatures that exist on the higher floors (mind you, heat rises). This environment made it the perfect location for the trial. The barrels were then aged for 11 years and 9 months.

So what were the results of this experiment? Well, allow us to present to you The Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection: Bourbon-Rye Mashbill 125, Bourbon-Rye Mashbill 115, Bourbon-Rye Mashbill 105 and Bourbon-Rye Mashbill 90.

  • Mashbill 125: At 125 proof, this is the highest of the collection. It’s a well-balanced bourdon with notes of vanilla, spicy cloves, caramel and toffee. The flavor is complex, yet well rounded.
  • Mashbill 115: Exhibiting a light oaky flavor, blended with palm sugar and leather, it is bottled at 115 proof.
  • Mashbill 105: This batch is bottled at 105 proof and has overall earthy tones followed with a buttery, light finish.
  • Mashbill 90: Part of the original Warehouse K experiment, Mashbill 90 has a light fruity flavor that is followed by hints of nuts and spice and ends on a dry note.

Buffalo Trace Distillery discovered their hypothesis to be true. Altitude does in fact affect the over flavor of bourbon! The varying levels of the barrels brought out distinctly different flavors of the bourbon. Barrels on the first floor yielded a delicate, sweet flavor with a mild oak taste. Fifth floor barrels resulted in bourbon with a sweet vanilla, caramel and light wood flavor. Those barrels aged on the ninth floor exuded a roasted nut sweetness paired with green pears, figs and a deep aroma. In simpler terms, the highest floors had deeper woody notes, while those barrels on the lower floors are light and sweet.

Pleased by their findings, Buffalo Trace Distillery has expanded their experimental program to an entire micro distillery called, The Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. “OFC” Mirco Distillery. The Colonel is complete with cookers, fermenting tanks and a state-of-the- art micro still, which all has been constructed within Buffalo Trace.

At Payless Liquors we are offering these limited release products in 3 bottle sets. Buffalo Trace Experimental packages are limited, in fact we only have 4 sets left! Reserve your bottles today on our website.