Eagle Rare Bourbon Review

Eagle Rare Bourbon Review

Can you believe this is the first time I’m reviewing the regular Eagle Rare Bourbon release? I’ve done the old Eagle Rare 101 and an Eagle Rare single barrel, but this is the first time I’ve sat down and done a review of the plane jane Eagle Rare Bourbon that’s on the shelves. Funny how that can happen, a staple just keeps getting pushed to the side because it’s a staple.

In Buffalo Trace’s Words: Eagle Rare

“Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is masterfully crafted and carefully aged for no less than ten years. The rareness of this great breed of bourbon is evident in its complex aroma, as well as the smooth and lingering taste. Eagle Rare is a bourbon that lives up to its name with its lofty, distinctive taste experience.”

Made from the same whiskey as the regular old Buffalo Trace, just aged for 10 years per the back of the bottle, it’s a good standard whiskey to have around the house. Though that wasn’t always the case, about 8-9 years ago it was a harsh, bitter, acetone and acidic bourbon I couldn’t stand. Thankfully It’s now tasty, it’s rich and a crazy good bang for your buck which you’ll see in the Eagle Rare Bourbon review below.

Eagle Rare Bourbon Info

Region: Kentucky, USA

Distiller: Buffalo Trace
Mashbill: BT Mash #1  – Low Rye (10% or less rye)
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 10 Years
ABV: 45%

Price: $30

Eagle Rare Bourbon Review

Dark caramel

Dark fruit heavy with dried berries, complex spice, oak, caramel and lighter notes of dried grain, dark honey and vanilla.

A big slab of oak coated in dried dark fruit, baking spice, dark sweets, toasted grain and velvety undertones of earth and leather. A ghostly bit of vanilla drifts through.

Long fad of oak and spice with a bit of dark fruit and sweets.

Excellent balance, rich full body and a smooth almost syrupy feel.

Eagle Rare Bourbon is a robust yet easy drinking whiskey. Such a departure from the ER I attempted to drink 8 or 9 years ago. The searing memory of its hot, harsh, acidic acetone profile and thin bourbon-like character still haunts me every time I look at a bottle of what is now great whiskey. It’s not quite as good as any of the old Eagle Rare 101 I’ve had, but it’s good enough.

SCORE: 89/100 (B+)

Eagle Rare Bourbon Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 89
  • Palate - 89
  • Finish - 89
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 89


Eagle Rare Bourbon is tasty and a great value.

Eagle Rare Bourbon 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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22 Responses to Eagle Rare Bourbon Review

  1. So glad you took a chance on the ‘ol ER again, Josh! Like you said, it’s a great value and (for the most part) readily available — at least for the time being. One of my go to’s on a cool, star-filled sky. Slainte!

  2. I just reviewed the same bourbon. I got a distinct impression of kettle corn on the nose which fits with your caramel and dried grain impressions, I think. What I really loved was the taste of Bit-O-Honey candy I picked up as it opened up. This is just an all-around pleasant drinker.

  3. For some reason the PA state stores had a “Bourbon famine” earlier this years, and my local store had a very limited selection. ER was on sale and had a very cool bottle and nice dark color so bought a bottle. I was very pleasantly surprised. This is a big, spicy and oaky bourbon with a nice long finish. This could easily be a favorite every day drink.

    I didn’t know that this was the same whiskey as Buffalo Trace, but I can see the similarity. I am kind of fond of BT but a few extra years in wood make for a much richer and complex drink.

    The PA bourbon famine is slowly abating, that goodness.

  4. very good stuff and for 28 bucks you cant beat it. love the color. I would have never tried it, thanks for the tip josh .

  5. This is absolutely delicious,I never would have guessed as I passed this bottle up for years,but I think I have a new favorite. this doesn’t get “boring” as so many of today’s offerings and quite a bargain.

  6. My go to Bourbon. One of the only ones I bought several times (so many things to try, I keep changing). I really don’t think that anything comes close at $29 (but I keep searching, was pleasantly surprised with Corner Creek, but it is is way lighter than ER, just for a different type of mood)…

  7. I was disappointed by this, but I think the price point that it is here in Australia made me think it should of been a bit richer and complex.

  8. I just returned from a road trip to visit friends in Kentucky. Stared and stared at the bourbon section at a liquor store there trying to choose what to buy to celebrate my recent completion of the Appalachian Trail.

    I ended up picking Eagle Rare because it is the one in the price range (up to $40) I haven’t tried. Now, before opening up the bottle I am reading a few website thoughts on my choice. Maybe I should drink first then read. Oh well.

    Thanks for your thoughts.


  9. I thought there was no plain Jane Eagle Rare now days and it was all a 10 year old single barrel bourbon? And also a 17 year old single barrel borbon antique collection? Am I mistaken about this?

    • Great question Joe. Buffalo Trace still bottles ER as a “single barrel”, but removed the single barrel term when they moved to an automated bottling line because when it switches from one barrel to another you could get whiskey from two barrels in one bottle. And since they don’t list the barrel number and bottle number it’s impossible to know anything about where it falls in the bottling. For these reasons, the same as Buffalo Trace’s, I’ve stopped referring to it directly as a single barrel unless it’s a store pick single barrel which is guaranteed to only come from one single barrel. Cheers!

  10. Eagle Rare is yummy, but the regular Buffalo Trace is still my favorite along with the nearly unobtainable Weller Antique 107. That said, there is a weird price inversion around here where the Eagle Rare is $29 vs. the Buffalo Trace at $34. It might be time to buy a couple of bottles.

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