Ancient Age 90 proof, 45%

I was given a sample of this slightly older bottling a little while ago by MvZ. It’s been added to Whiskybase in 2013, but by the looks and style of the bottle I’d say this is quite a bit older than that.

Originally this was a € 20 bourbon or so, but since it’s older and since bourbon prices are going insane, it is now for sale in The Netherlands for € 224. Obviously this is utterly ridiculous for a ‘bottom shelf’ product, but collectors are sometimes quite ridiculous too.

Anyway, I decided this weekend was as good a time as any for putting it to the test. Also, since it’s at 45%, it’s not too sharp and a good whisky to start with.

Image by Antoine de Weerd

It’s a product from Buffalo Trace distillery and that elevates my expectations slightly, since I generally like what they produce.

Sniff:
Rather closed at first, with vanilla, oak, some cherries. Some grain sweetness too, a whiff of banana bread.

Sip:
The arrival has some oak and quite some black pepper. It’s pretty thin though. A tad watery with hints of dry grains and some banana. Some vanilla sweetness after that.

Swallow:
The finish is warming, but still a bit dry and thin. Some sweetness, black pepper and banana.

Well, what to say about this. Going by the tasting notes it’s not too bad, albeit a bit thin. However, there’s actually no finish to speak of, and while there are some different flavors, it is just not enough to overcome the watery experience.

Honestly, having some (not a tremendous amount) of experience with dusty bourbons like this, I think this is performing at a below average level. It might be that this is a product from the drive to lighter whisky that happened in the seventies and eighties. If so, a shame. If not, what the hell happened?

“The Whiskey with Age in its Flavor” Well, no.

78/100

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
This entry was posted in - American Whiskey, - Bourbon, Ancient Age, Buffalo Trace and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Ancient Age 90 proof, 45%

  1. Troy says:

    I’ve had some bottom-shelf dusty bourbons that are just poor. The good-ole days weren’t always better IMO. And today’s Ancient Age, as well as the “10-star Ancient Ancient Age” that crazy people seek, is still very much appropriately ‘bottom-shelf’. Still fun to try old juice…but it’s important to take it for what it is…as you’ve done. Cheers!

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