Blogpost: Buffalo Trace Distillery – screening and tasting

Posted by T • September 30, 2018

Posted by T • September 30, 2018

Water of Life

Buffalo Trace Distillery: Neat – screening and tasting

Golden Age Cinema and Bar

Sydney, Australia

September 24, 2018

We have covered quite a few whiskey-centric events within the confines of the Water of Life series, yet every now and then there is one that stands out. Whiskey Hunt Australia the screening of David Altrogge’s NEAT: The Story of Bourbon, a feature length documentary that dives into the rich and storied world of bourbon.

After being proffered an excellently mixed cocktail on arrival in the Golden Age Cinema Bar, we were ushered into what previously was used as an intimate, private screening room for Paramount Pictures.

NEAT: The Story of Bourbon is in essence a classy, crafted and thoroughly engaging story about not only bourbon, but the people behind the liquid emissions, specifically characters like Castle and Key Master Distiller Marianne Barnes and third generation Buffalo Trace employee Freddie Johnson.

Following the chronological timeline of America’s native spirit, from the distillation of whiskey by early pioneers to the current thriving bourbon environment, distillers from the major American bourbon distilleries move the history along, preaching their love of the spirit along the way, only interjected by actor Steve Zahn’s quips, presenting educational Bourbon fun facts. 

Not that much cinematographic animation was needed to get your humble narrator into the mood for a Bourbon tasting, but the beautifully shot documentary certainly set the tone for the classy evening that was to ensue and enhanced the appreciation for the history and process of Bourbon making.

What followed was a Buffalo Trace Distillery masterclass, MC’ed by whisky-phile par excellence Gee David from Southtrade, who took us through some of the Bourbon’s discussed that were discussed in the film, which served as a seamless extension.

Proceedings were kicked off with an interesting taste of Buffalo Trace White Dog, with the name being a telling one as it was given to a whiskey of the unaged variant. What normally would prove to be a great cocktail ingredient, set the foundation of the expressions that were to follow.

Buffalo Trace itself is a reliable bourbon but things were taken up a few notches with Blantons Gold. Delicioso: A refined Bourbon with predominant vanilla, dried fruits, raisings and citrus notes rounded out with a bit of peppery spice and a full bodied nose.

Named after the maverick who gave birth to Buffalo Trace Distillery’s single barrel offerings, i.e. Elmer T Lee, the next expression was a rich and perfectly balanced exercise in what a great Bourbon should taste like. A thing of beauty.

E.H. Taylor Single Barrel was next – a fulminant melange of spicy notes based on a bed of oak, leaving an aftertaste of plums, fruits and hints of figs after hitting the palate with its buttery texture. The fact that its long finish is veiled in smokiness only adds to the flavour. Dangerously more-ish.

The highlight of the evening was a dram of the incredible Pappy Van Winkle‘s 20 year old. As the tasting was accompanied by cheese and charcuterie boards, the sweetness of the Pappy van Winkle made it a perfect digestif.

Nuts, spices, white chocolate and stewed fruits are only a few of the many nuances that serenade this rich and soft bourbon as it caresses once palate with its silky, borderline Cognac-ey sublime oak and custard flavours. It leaves one with a crescendo of honey, prune and pepper . . . and lusting for more.

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream set a counterpoint to the previous drams, with its cholocate-y, vanilla-ey character that culminated with a kick of cinnamon.

An evening that was a masterfully executed ode to everything Bourbon, tackling all senses in equal measures.

Read more Water of Life entries here.


Neat graphic courtesy of Whiskey Hunt Australia, event photo by T

T • September 30, 2018

More recent blogposts

Reckless Brewing and Moo Brew’s Gin Boilermaker

Posted by T • July 29, 2021

Thus Let Us Drink Beer – Reckless Brewing and Moo Brew’s Gin Boilermaker   Having honed and refined channelling her alchemy in the creation of craft beers, the quality of which has left an indelible mark on the firmament of Australian craft brews, Reckless Brewing’s co-founder Grace has and continue to contribute to shaping the DNA of one of the … Read more

Beethoven and Wagner vs Nietzsche

Posted by T • July 26, 2021

Beethoven: A life University of California Press   There is no shortage of books dedicated to the life of a composer whose legacy has never ceased to reverberate and impact music at large. Released to commemorate the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of his birth, what sets this biography apart in terms of authority is partly due to the unprecedented access … Read more

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery

Posted by T • July 25, 2021

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery   Over the last ten years, Australia has firmly established itself on the map of nations that produce quality malt whiskies. Slowly but steadily, rye whiskies created on terra australis have been making a splash on the scene with quite a few distilleries crafting their own incarnations of American style rye whiskey. … Read more

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury

Posted by T • July 24, 2021

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury I’ve covered the mecca that Washington DC proved to be as a hotbed for hardcore and punk as part of this series before, however, missed to shed light onto one of my favourite releases from the 1980s era, i.e. the vitally important split LP of the short-lived bands The Faith and Void.  While … Read more

The Formative Years – Hardcore Classics, pt. 1

Posted by T • July 23, 2021

The Formative Years – Hardcore classics pt. 1   With ZAP magazine playing a pivotal role in promoting and covering everything New York Hardcore related in a pro-active and prominent manner, Europe and specifically Germany have always been prime markets for hardcore emanating from the Big Apple.  The result was that “NYHC” became a veritable label and trademark and almost … Read more

The Formative Years - Ebullition Records

Posted by T • July 22, 2021

The Formative Years - Ebullition Records  The first time I heard about Ebullition Records was when there was talk around the campfire of that a gentleman that was known to me as a Maximum Rock’n’roll / No Answer zine contributor, i.e. Kent McClard, was planning to release a full length of one of my favourite bands from Orange County, California, … Read more

Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Holgate and Six String

Posted by T • July 18, 2021

Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Holgate Brewhouse and Six String Brewing   As we have outlined with our previous coverage of Holgate Brewhouse, over the last twenty years the Victorian brewery has established itself firmly on the forefront of innovative quality producers of ales that honour both the classic styles from the old world and the ever expanding and … Read more

Water of Life – Hellfire / Kilderkin Distilleries

Posted by T • July 15, 2021

Water of Life – Hellfire Distillery / Kilderkin Distillery   If you have followed this series with a modicum of interest and harbour a weak spot for fantastic, artisanal spirits, Tasmania would be doubtlessly be have made it on your to-visit list quite a while ago. Visiting the southernmost state of Australia twice a year, I never cease to discover … Read more

Water of Life – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Posted by T • July 12, 2021

Water of Life – The Scotch Malt Whisky Society   There is certainly no shortage of whisky clubs and subscription services these days and for anyone remotely into discovering new flavour nuances and variations of their favourite bottlings, joining one can prove to be a viable option. The experience those services offer ranges from basic monthly tasting kits that might … Read more

Water of Life – Milton Rum & Mad Monkey Distillery

Posted by T • July 11, 2021

Water of Life – Milton Rum and Mad Monkey Distillery   Rum has a long and at times chequered history reaching back more than six hundred years to the times dominated by Colonialism, where it did not only serve to make pirates drunk but as a means for trade. Fast forward to the present day and the renaissance that the … Read more