Buffalo Trace Distillery is thrilled to release Buffalo Trace Experimental Peated Bourbon, an innovative Kentucky straight bourbon made with smoked peated malt, as the latest innovation from their ongoing Experimental Collection.
As the world’s most award-winning distillery, Buffalo Trace Distillery is deeply committed to honoring traditional production techniques while embracing change and pushing the limits of innovation in American whiskey. The Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection, which debuted in 2006 and is celebrating the Peated Bourbon as its 26th release, is another prime example of their commitment to innovation. Each expression in the Collection offers characteristics and a taste profile uniquely its own caused by experimental changes in the mash bill, types of wood, barrel treatment and more. Since not every experiment is deemed worthy of bottling, these whiskeys are released periodically and sold on a limited basis.
“The Experimental Collection is not about breaking the rules of bourbon; in fact, 95% of our experiments stay within the confines of traditional methods of making whiskey. We conduct this research to better understand the variables that affect our final flavor profiles,” says Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace’s Master Distiller. “We were eager to experiment with peat to see how the grain influenced our mashbill from a recipe perspective. We anticipated it providing the perfect hint of smoke, just enough to compliment the sweet and spicy notes from the rye, and I’m happy to report our hypothesis was correct.”
This latest outcome from the Experimental Collection has proven successful, resulting in a one-of-a-kind Kentucky straight bourbon subbing smoked peated malt as a flavoring grain for traditional barley, which lends just a hint of smoke to the revered rye bourbon mashbill. The experimental distillate aged for nearly ten years in new charred white oak casks, undergoing regular spot checks by Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley and his team before bottling at 90 proof. The nose is smoky and nutty, with hints of leather, mahogany and cacao beans; the influence of the peated malt provides a palate of light smoke, brown butter and a sweet toffee finish.
While common in Scotch and other global whisky categories, peated malt is an ingredient rarely found in American whiskey production. Wheatley hypothesized that if the peat character shined through distillation as they anticipated, the smokey flavor would add an extra complexity to Buffalo Trace’s traditional rye bourbon mashbill, resulting in a spirit appealing to connoisseurs that appreciate a traditional – yet completely unique – sipping whiskey.
Buffalo Trace Experimental Peated Bourbon will be rolling out in limited quantities to its distributor network who in turn will ship to select retailers and restaurants across the United States as of May 2023. Due to the limited nature of these releases, all expressions from the Experimental Collection are packaged in 375ml bottles and available in extremely limited quantities. Suggested retail pricing is $46.99; state taxes will vary per market.