Eagle Rare 17 Years Review

Eagle Rare 17 Years Review

Eagle Rare 17 Years is just an older version of the standard Eagle Rare which in turn is just an older version of the standard Buffalo Trace release. Distilled from BT’s Mash Bill #1 (low rye ~10%) and made from barrels resting on levels 1-3 of warehouse Q, which doesn’t mean much to most people, the 2015 Eagle Rare 17 is part of the annual Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. The BTAC, as it’s often referred to, is among the most sought after bourbons each year and ends up going for stupid sums of money on the secondary market.

My advice on the Eagle Rare 17, and all of the other BTAC releases, is to NOT pay secondary prices. Just don’t. I know it can be tough because we always want what we can’t have, but it’s not worth it – none of them are. If you’re dying to try them find a bar in your town that either has a flight of all the BTACs or is hosting a tasting – which is exactly what I did to try the 2015 releases. If people can’t make money flipping bourbon then bourbon flippers will disappear and go back to scalping concert tickets so we can slowly turn the tide on this insanity and get back to people buying this stuff to drink it.

Eagle Rare 17 Years Info

Region: Kentucky, USA

Distiller: Buffalo Trace
Mashbill: Mash Bill #1 (~10% rye)
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 17 years
ABV: 45%

Batch: 2015

Price: $80 (MSRP)

Eagle Rare 17 Years Review

Light caramel

Caramel, wood, dark fruit, cinnamon and candied citrus move out in light waves. A robust full aroma this is not.

Like the nose the palate is weak and underwhelming. Light notes of wood, caramel, cinnamon and grain slide through with a bit of toffee.

Short and woody with light notes of toffee and caramel

Not well balanced, light body and watery feel.

The 2015 Eagle Rare 17 Years is not an impressive bourbon and the fact that it’s going for hundreds on the secondary blows my mind almost as much as how weak this is compared to the regular Eagle Rare. I don’t know what’s going on with the barrels they use to make the ER17, but it doesn’t feel like they’re using the best barrels possible to make this… or maybe they are.

Maybe Mashbill #1 just doesn’t hold up this long in the barrel and that’s causing it to lose the richness it has when it’s younger. Or maybe it becomes extra sensitive to water the older it gets and it’s getting cut with too much. I don’t know the reasons why the 2015 Eagle Rare 17 Years showed like it did, all I know is that it did and if you’re thinking about paying stupid money for one on the secondary market you should really reconsider. There is better bourbon out there for far less money.

SCORE: 80-82/100 (consumed at a tasting, not at home)

2015 Eagle Rare 17 Years Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 80
  • Palate - 80
  • Finish - 80
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 80


The 2015 Eagle Rare 17 Years is an ok whiskey, but far from being worth the $80 MSRP in my mind let alone the hundreds on the secondary. True it’s older than the regular 10 year Eagle rare, but older doesn’t always mean better and that's definitely the case with this year's Eagle Rare 17.

Eagle Rare 17 Years Label

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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7 Responses to Eagle Rare 17 Years Review

  1. Just bought a bottle of Eagle Rare 10yr a couple days ago and I was not impressed. It’s been a couple years since my last tasting. While I quite liked the flavor profile at that time, this example was weak on the nose and no better in body or taste. Not much there but a whiff and taste of pine, with just a hint of caramel and burnt candy corn on the finish. Too much water.

  2. I think that with demand being what it is, they can’t be as picky with barrel selection as they once we’re. I can’t imagine that they have an abundance of 17 year old barrels left to pick from now.

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