Buffalo Trace unveils 2019 Antique Collection

by Owen Bellwood

Buffalo Trace has announced details of its 2019 Antique Collection, which includes the lowest ABV-strength George T Stagg whiskey released as part of the series.

First launched in 2000, the Antique Collection features five limited edition releases bottled from rare stocks at the Buffalo Trace distillery. This year’s collection includes a George T Stagg whiskey bottled at 58.5% ABV, the "lowest proof in this whiskey’s history”. Master distiller Harlen Wheatley said: “Many of the barrels for this year’s Stagg composite were taken from the first floor of the warehouse. The first floor is cooler with higher humidity levels, therefore the alcohol evaporates faster than the water.” Despite its lower strength, the release is said to be “what Stagg fans can expect,” with flavours of vanilla, toasted oak and floral undertones. The 2019 release from William Larue Weller was distilled in the winter of 2007 and aged in Warehouse I. This Bourbon is bottled at 64% ABV and has “bold flavours” such as toasted vanilla and coffee. This year’s Thomas H Handy Sazerac Rye bottling was distilled in the spring of 2013 and aged in warehouses K, M, and N. Bottled at 62.5% ABV, tasting notes include “creamy butterscotch and vanilla”. The 2019 Eagle Rare 17 Year Old release returns to its bottling strength of 50.5% ABV in tribute to the original strength used when the brand was launched in 1974. This Bourbon is said to taste of cocoa, caramel and oak. Finally, the Antique Collection’s Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old release is said to have notable flavours of vanilla and maple syrup, with a finish of black pepper and spearmint. The barrels for this whiskey were filled in the spring of 2001 and it was rested on the second floor of Warehouses K and L. The 2019 Antique Collection whiskeys will be available in limited quantities starting in late September or early October. The suggested retail price for each bottling is US$99.