Discover the differences between Buffalo Trace vs Early Times in this in-depth comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!
|Nose||Caramel, cinnamon, baking spice, cereal|
|Palate||Caramel, vanilla, oak, espresso coffee, chocolate|
|Finish||Vanilla, baking spice, oak|
|Alcohol content||90 proof (45% ABV)|
|How to drink||Neat, rocks|
|Similar to||Bradshaw Bourbon, Bowman Brothers|
Buffalo Trace is one of the best-selling whiskeys for two good reasons: it delivers a smooth yet tasty taste and is attractively priced delivering good value for the money.
On the nose the Buffalo Trace is very subtle with notes of caramel, vanilla and a touch of baking spice.
Taste hits the spice a little harder, displays oak and fruit and the underlying sweetness is still there, a little caramel and vanilla goes a long way. Mouthfeel is soft and approachable, light on the heat.
The finish has a decent length, rich in vanilla and baking spice, although flavors don’t sit on the tongue for long but leave a refreshing sensation in the mouth.
The Buffalo Trace is a well-rounded bourbon, making a nice easy sipper with a medium to full body, soft with a chewy feel, fruity and oaky with a medium spicy finish.
Neither intense nor mind-blowing, but it gets the job done delivering a pleasant and satisfying bourbon.
Overall, Buffalo Trace is a good mid-shelf bourbon, a sipper that does not need neither water nor ice. Makes a solid option for an “everyday whiskey” but not the best mixer as it lacks the punch to deliver tasty cocktails.
There are a few facts worth knowing about Buffalo Trace:
- Buffalo Trace is made from corn, rye and malted barley in undisclosed amounts.
- Buffalo Traces uses a unique aging process of 8 years in which the barrels are stored in the middle floors of the warehouse where temperature fluctuations are the greatest; these variations get reflected in the bourbon creating deeper flavors.
- 40 barrels at a time are chosen to create one single, small batch of Buffalo Trace.
|Nose||Apricot, vanilla, caramel|
|Palate||Apricot, caramel, nuts, spice|
|Finish||Short, fruity, oak spice|
|Alcohol content||80 proof (40% ABV)|
|How to drink||Rocks, cocktails|
|Similar to||Old Forester, Evan Williams|
The nose is quite light, with a hint of apricot, along vanilla and a touch of caramel.
On the palate, Early Times feels a bit oily providing a good mouthfeel.
On the first sip you get sweet alcohol at first, with notes of apricot and caramel at first, followed by a light hint of roasted nuts and a modest amount of spice.
The finish is short-lived, with a light fruity note, oak spice and a bit of nail polish to it.
Early Times is surprisingly smooth and sweet, with nothing wrong about but nothing interesting as you might expect from a whiskey at this price point.
It shows it’s young age, but is not harsh, or bitter making it serviceable when looking for an inexpensive whiskey for mixed drinks. Just a bit of acetone on the finish but nothing too crazy.
Overall, the Early Times is a good option when looking for a smooth an sweet budget drinker. Nothing particularly interesting about it but it doesn’t have any horrible notes providing value for the money.
The name Early Times was selected as a tribute to the old-school method of making whiskey, which included mashing grain in small tubs and distilling the whisky in copper stills over open fires.
There a few facts worth knowing about the Early Times:
- Aged for a minimum of 3 years.
- Early Times is not labeled as a bourbon but as a Kentucky Whisky as it’s aged using used barrels (bourbon has to be aged in new barrels).
What do Buffalo Trace and Early Times have in common?
Both brands are owned by the Sazerac Company
Early Times was owned by Brown Forman (Old Forester, Woodford Reserve, Jack Daniel’s) from 1923 to 2020 when it was acquired by the Sazerac Company.
Production was moved to the 1792 Distillery in Bardstown, KY.
Buffalo Trace vs Early Times: Price comparison
Prices are approximate and stated in USD:
Buffalo Trace vs Early Times: Which is better?
Buffalo Trace is a fine sipping bourbon
|Whiskey||Buffalo Trace||Early Times|
- Buffalo Trace is a nice sipping bourbon that you can drink in and out making a perfect “everyday whiskey”.
- It drinks nicely neat or rocks and although not the best mixer as it lacks punchy notes can be used in cocktails.
- Early Times is too basic, not particularly flavorful, but becomes a good option when looking for something affordable to make cocktails.
I am a bar and liquor shop owner in Oaxaca, Mexico where I have tasted hundreds of different spirits; perhaps more than I should!