Buffalo Trace is an American whiskey from the northern most distillery in the state of Kentucky. There are seven distilleries in Kentucky and these make different brands of American whiskies and bourbons, each one with it's own unique recipe. However, Buffalo Trace is the only distillery where the whiskey is made entirely on the same site using only traditional methods. The distillery name originates from it's close proximity to 'the great buffalo trace', which is an ancient migrating path (or trace) used by buffalo that stretches across North America and along the banks of the Kentucky River. Early settlers followed this path and set up a community in the late 1700s and the distillery has been operating on the same site since 1812. It was also one of the few distilleries to continue distilling during the prohibition period (purely for medical purposes, of cause!). Now, Buffalo Trace is regarded as one of the best American whiskies in the world and has won numerous awards. This whiskey has been aged for a minimum of nine years and is made from a selection of corn, rye and malted barley which are all grown in Franklin County, near to the distillery.
The colour is dark and golden and the nose is gorgeous. There is lots of vanilla and coconut with a bitter grainy note coming through (imagine the aroma of a dense type of bread, like rye bread). On the palate, this is soft, thick and creamy with lots of that vanilla and coconut present. Following this, some more subtle flavours are revealed with something citrus in there (lemons, I think), something spicy (nutmeg or cinnamon, I'm not sure), a hint of aniseed and some toffee. The finish is quite long and starts off sweet and creamy but interestingly twists to be slightly bitter and dry right at the end. Buffalo Trace is extremely well balanced and complex and is my favourite American whiskey that I have tried to date. It is also a bargain for something that is so good and that has won so many awards, costing just over £20 per bottle. Buffalo Trace is becoming more wide spread in the UK all the time and is available in some supermarkets and numerous independent retailers, as well as becoming extremely popular in bars and pubs if you want to try it before you buy a full bottle.