As a bourbon enthusiast, I always look forward to exploring new flavors and discovering gems in the whiskey world. Recently, I got my hands on a bottle of Ancient Age 8 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which is a part of the Buffalo Trace Distillery family, where they produce renowned brands like Sazerac Company and Blanton’s. This limited edition whiskey, with an 8-year age statement, has caught the attention of many, and I couldn’t wait to share my experience with fellow whiskey lovers!
Ancient Age 8 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Overview
Ancient Age 8 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, often referred to as 3A, is a bourbon with a rich history. It is produced at the Buffalo Trace Distillery and belongs to the Sazerac Company. Initially, it featured a 10-year age statement, but this was eventually removed. The distillery still produces Ancient Age and Ancient Age 10 Star versions in the US. However, the 8-year version exists exclusively in Japan.
As a part of the Mashbill #2 line-up, Ancient Age 8 Year sits in the company of renowned bourbons like Elmer T. Lee and Rock Hill Farms. The bourbon is made from a mash of corn, rye, and barley malt, giving it a unique flavor profile that has stood the test of time.
The Ancient Age 8 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey comes with a more exclusive price tag due to its limited availability. You can expect to pay around $57 to $82 for a 700ml bottle. This bourbon is bottled at 80 proof (43% ABV) and features beautiful aromas of corn, caramel, toffee, and vanilla that make it a delight to sip from a Glencairn glass.
While the bourbon originated in the United States, it has become a highly sought-after product primarily in the Japanese market, where it carries a premium price point. The Buffalo Trace Distillery, located in Frankfort, Kentucky, is a historic site with a legacy of producing high-quality bourbons, and their Ancient Age 8 Year Old is no exception.
photo credit: www.buffalotracedistillery.com
Upon nosing this Ancient Age 8 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, I immediately picked up on rich caramel and sweet vanilla notes. As I continued to explore the aroma, I could also detect hints of oak, honey, and char. Subtle spice and fruit notes, such as apple and banana, rounded out the complexity of the nose.
When I took my first sip, the palate was greeted with a delightful caramel corn flavor that was quickly followed by a smooth honey richness. Oak and vanilla played a significant role in the flavor profile as well, accompanied by some spice, perhaps cinnamon, and a mild yeast character. The body had a nice balance and the whiskey had a pleasant mouthfeel.
The finish of this bourbon was relatively short, yet satisfying. Fruitiness came through once more, with the presence of cherries and apple, alongside caramel and vanilla. As the finish faded, a soft warmth lingered, leaving a comforting impression.
In my opinion, this Ancient Age 8 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey deserves a solid score of 8 out of 10. It has a friendly character, showcasing a lovely balance of flavors with a smooth profile. While it may not be the most robust bourbon out there, it offers an enjoyable experience, particularly considering its reasonable price point. The 43% ABV adds to its approachability, making it an excellent choice for those looking to explore the world of bourbon whiskey.
Mixing and Pairing
As a fan of Ancient Age 8 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, I enjoy exploring creative ways to mix and pair this whiskey to enhance its delightful flavors. In this section, I will share my recommendations for mixers, cocktails, and food pairings to make the most of your Ancient Age Bourbon experience.
When it comes to mixing Ancient Age Bourbon, I’ve found that a few options consistently yield great results:
- Ginger ale: My go-to mixer is ginger ale. The bite of the ginger pairs well with the whiskey’s sweetness and spice.
- Club soda: For a lighter option, try mixing your bourbon with club soda. This highlights the bourbon’s vanilla and caramel notes.
- Sweet vermouth: For a classic Manhattan, combine Ancient Age Bourbon with sweet vermouth and a few dashes of bitters.
photo credit: freerangestock.com
For those of us who enjoy a well-crafted cocktail, Ancient Age Bourbon lends itself to several classic and innovative concoctions. Here are some of my favorites:
- Classic Old Fashioned: Muddle sugar and Angostura bitters, then add Ancient Age Bourbon, ice, and an orange twist. Stir until well chilled.
- Bourbon Sour: Combine Ancient Age Bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white in a shaker. Shake well and strain into a glass over ice, garnished with a cherry.
- Mint Julep: Muddle fresh mint with sugar in a glass. Fill with crushed ice, then pour Ancient Age Bourbon on top. Stir and garnish with more mint.
When it comes to sipping Ancient Age Bourbon alongside a delicious meal, I like to consider the whiskey’s flavor profile to enhance my culinary experience. Here are some food pairing ideas:
- Appetizers: Soft cheeses, such as brie or camembert, pair nicely with the whiskey’s sweetness.
- Main Courses: Grilled meats, like a flavorful ribeye or tender barbecue ribs, complement the caramel and oaky notes in Ancient Age Bourbon.
- Desserts: Classic pecan pie or rich chocolate brownies bring out the bourbon’s vanilla and toasted caramel flavors.
In my experience, the Ancient Age 8 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey offers a good balance of flavor and complexity at its affordable price point. I’ve found it to be smooth and easy to sip, with hints of caramel, vanilla, and oak to complement its traditional bourbon profile.
What I appreciate most about this whiskey is that it doesn’t try to be something it’s not, and instead, it embraces its straightforward and accessible nature. It’s certainly a friendly bourbon that will please most palates without intimidating or overwhelming any newcomers to the world of bourbon.
As a final note, I believe that this bourbon is worth seeking out not only because of its quality but also because it presents an excellent example of what good value can look like in the world of whiskey. With its appealing taste and affordable price, the Ancient Age 8 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has undoubtedly earned its spot as a go-to choice for me when it comes to enjoying a friendly and satisfying bourbon experience.