Using a peated grain for its 26th experimental bourbon, the revered distillery has created a smoky sensation.
Buffalo Trace Peated Bourbon Mashbill
The liquid in question began its life nearly a decade ago, when master distiller Harlen Wheatley crafted distillate that included a peated malt in its mashbill. The smoked grain was sourced from the United Kingdom (most likely Scotland) and replaced traditional barley—an ingredient which often accounts for up to 10 percent of the cereals used during fermentation.
Outside of that unorthodox substitution, everything about the process was de rigueur for standard bourbon making. The majority of the mashbill consisted of corn, the secondary grain was rye, and after distillation it entered unused barrels staved with charred American oak.
“The Experimental Collection is not about breaking the rules of bourbon,” Wheatley confirms. “In fact, 95 percent of our experiments stay within the confines of traditional methods of making whiskey.”
Notable examples from the past include bourbons that used rice or oats in place of rye in the mashbill—whiskeys that were bombarded with infrared light or aged in barrels that were charred four times longer than usual.
“We conduct this research to better understand the variables that affect our final flavor profiles,” adds Wheatley.
It took careful monitoring to deliver such a result. Because the liquid was unlike anything Buffalo Trace had worked with before, Harlen and his team drew from the six barrels frequently as they aged, on the lower levels of the distillery’s two oldest warehouses.
It probably won’t be long before this one earns the moniker “Peated Pappy” and starts selling for 20 times that on secondary markets.
About Buffalo Trace Distillery
Buffalo Trace bottles some of the most sought-after whiskeys on the planet. The Kentucky-based distillery is responsible for Pappy Van Winkle, George T. Stagg, Eagle Rare, and many other exalted expressions capable of whipping just about any bourbon fan into a frenzy. Nevertheless, no matter how impressive their laurels may be, the craftspeople here hardly seem content to rest on them. In addition to being one of the most acclaimed distilleries in the industry, it’s also among the most creative and experimental—always eager to push limits of flavor. For proof, you needn’t look further than the Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection. Debuting in 2006, the series has now expanded to include its 26th release: Peated Bourbon. What can you expect inside the glass? Let’s uncork this one.
For more information https://www.buffalotracedistillery.com/