Eagle Rare is easily one of my favorite “budget” bourbons. It’s a 10 year age stated bourbon from Buffalo Trace that is usually readily available in my area, tastes great and is only about $30 give or take. What more can you ask for? Oh yeah, how about a store pick?
Trout’s is located in Jasper, GA and has two rather large locations just 5 minutes from each other. Their selection of bourbon is adequate for the size of Jasper and you can typically find most normal bourbons you’d be looking for with the exception of highly allocated bottles. There’s usually a steady supply of Eagle Rare and E.H. Taylor Small Batch and other similar bourbons. Recently, they’ve been getting some pretty decent store picks including a barrel of OWA at the end of last year and they’ve started this year off with a Knob Creek Single Barrel as well as this Eagle Rare I just picked up. Rumor has it that they will be getting another OWA barrel this year along with a Blanton’s for anyone that’s in the area and interested.
So how’s the juice? This particular bottle was barreled on 2/23/09 from Warehouse 1 on Floor 2. Proofed down to 45%, this Eagle Rare tastes just as you’d expect it to. The nose has the same citrus and oak nose you find on the normal release with just a hint of banana coming through. There’s also far less alcohol burn on the nose. The palate is sweet, with brown sugar and oak as the prominent notes. The store pick coats the mouth a bit more where the normal release feels a bit thin. The finish blooms in the mouth and leaves a nice warm feeling with the vanilla and honey-like sweetness lingering before fading into a dry, oaky nothingness. The finish lasts longer than the normal release, allowing you to savor each sip.
This is a good pour and a cut above your standard Eagle Rare. The overall package is just amplified beyond the base Eagle Rare and just goes to show that store picks are typically better than their normal counterparts. I do wish it had a little more age on it to set it even further apart from the standard release, but you can’t always get what you want. I paid $49 for this store pick and think that’s fair considering secondary on store picks are usually $70+ and I didn’t have to pay for any shipping or go out of my way to procure the bottle. If you’re in the Jasper area, swing by either location and grab a bottle while they’re still there.