The 2021 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC) has been announced and will feature new releases of William Larue Weller, Thomas H. Handy, Eagle Rare 17 Year Old, and Sazerac 18 Year Old. However, George T. Stagg will not be released this year because the barrels set aside for the 2021 release did not meet the distillery’s standards for the Stagg brand.
“Before any barrel can be dumped and bottled, it goes through rigorous testing procedures numerous times to ensure it is meeting the quality standards set forth for that brand,” said Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley. “Unfortunately, this crop of barrels earmarked to be Stagg back when it was put in the barrel in 2006 did not meet the Stagg profile today. We discussed at great length how to proceed, and ultimately decided we did not feel right about lowering our standards or the age, by dipping into next year’s supply of barrels. We know fans will be disappointed, as are we, but we could not release a bourbon that we did not feel was up to par with the flavor profile expected of George T. Stagg.”
“Quality is always paramount for our products,” said Drew Mayville, Master Blender, Director of Quality. “If the taste doesn’t match our expectations, then we will not release it to our customers. And unfortunately, this year’s yield of Stagg did not meet our expectations. Good news is, we’ll have the barrels we put up in 2007, which are on track so far for a 2022 release, barring any unforeseen changes.”
Details on the 2021 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection follow:
William Larue Weller
The 2021 release of William Larue Weller is bottled uncut and unfiltered at 125.3 proof (62.65% ABV). This wheated recipe bourbon was distilled in the winter of 2009 and aged in Warehouses C, D, K, L, and Q. It’s described as having aromas of “crème brulee” followed by “cherry and toasted graham crackers” on the palate and a “long, rich” finish of “coca, herbs, and oak.”
Thomas H. Handy
The 2021 release of Thomas H. Handy is bottled uncut and unfiltered at 129.5 proof (64.75% ABV). This straight rye whiskey was distilled in the spring of 2015 and aged in Warehouses I, L, O, and K. It’s described as having notes of “anise and cinnamon” with a “rich finish of spearmint and chocolate.”
Eagle Rare 17 Year Old
The 2021 release of Eagle Rare 17 Year Old is bottled at 101 proof (50.5% ABV). This bourbon was distilled in the spring of 2003 and aged on the first floor of Warehouse K. It’s described as having aromas of “ripe cherries, vanilla cream and oak” on the nose, notes of “caramel and coffee” on the palate, and “a long finish of oak, pepper and fresh herbs.”
Sazerac 18 Year Old
The 2021 release of Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old is bottled at 90 proof (45% ABV). The barrels for this straight rye whiskey were filled in the spring of 2002 and rested on the second and fourth floors of Warehouse K. It’s described as having notes of “bright apples, herbs, anise, and maple syrup” on the palate, with “cocoa, coffee, and dates” on the finish.