Today for Dusty Thursday I get to sample one of the whiskeys that was on my holiday wish list. Thanks to the generous reader who helped me out.
According to Chuck Cowdery, the Eagle Rare 101 brand was established in 1975 to compete with Wild Turkey 101 in the bird-themed bourbon category. It was a Seagram's brand, distilled at the Old Prentice Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky (now Four Roses). In 1989 Sazerac purchased the brand and bottled sourced whiskey for a few years until they purchased the Buffalo Trace distillery in 1992, after which they used bourbon made at the Frankfort distillery. It was discontinued in 2005 in favor of the current Eagle Rare offerings: a 10 year old single barrel and a 17 year old for the Antique Collection, though both come in at lower proofs than the 101. The bottle I'm sampling today is from the Buffalo Trace era of Eagle Rare 101 which we know from the Frankfort address on the label.
Eagle Rare 101, (Buffalo Trace) 10 years old, 50.5% abv
The nose is full of butterscotch with a bit of maple syrup. On the palate the first taste is sweet with some very sophisticated Cognac-like notes, then spice box and some nice brine. The finish is full of spice, almost hoppy at times reminding me a little of Charbay's hopped whiskey.
This is really an amazingly flavor-packed, complex bourbon. I like the current Eagle Rare, but this version is just above and beyond it in terms of complexity. Next time you see a Buffalo Trace rep at a whiskey show, give them a good talking to for discontinuing this fine bourbon.