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Buffalo Trace vs Four Roses Single Barrel: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Buffalo Trace vs Four Roses Single Barrel in this in-depth comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Buffalo Trace

buffalo-trace
NoseCaramel, cinnamon, baking spice, cereal
PalateCaramel, vanilla, oak, espresso coffee, chocolate
FinishVanilla, baking spice, oak
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat, rocks
Similar toMaker’s Mark, Eagle Rare, Woodford Reserve

Buffalo Trace is one of the top-selling whiskeys for two good reasons: it’s smooth and tasty and attractively priced providing a good experience and good value for the money.

Nose 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 moderate 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.

It’s not intense or mind-blowing, but it gets the job done delivering a pleasant and satisfying bourbon.

Overall, Buffalo Trace is a solid mid-shelf bourbon, a sipper that does not need neither water nor ice. Makes a solid option for an “everyday whiskey” although not the best mixer as it lacks the punch to deliver tasty cocktails.

If you want to consider further options I’ve compiled a list of similar bourbons to Buffalo Trace that you should look into.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Buffalo Trace:

  • Buffalo Trace is made from corn, rye and malted barley in undisclosed amounts.
  • Buffalo Trace 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.
  • According to Buffalo Trace who has been using the same recipe and methods for the last 200+ years 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.
  • Double Gold North American Bourbon & Whiskey Competition 2019.
  • Gold San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2018.
  • Crafted at the Buffalo Trace Distillery owned by the Louisiana-based Sazerac Company.

Four Roses Single Barrel

four-roses-single-barrel
NoseBaking spice, cherry, vanilla, honey
PalateCinnamon, rye spice, vanilla, honey
FinishMedium; caramel, baking spice, cinnamon
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toSmall Batch, Knob Creek SB

Nose is faint, with notes of baking spice, cherry and honeyed vanilla.

On the palate, the Four Roses Single Barrel has tingling rye spice up-front with a hint of cinnamon giving way to fruity notes, honey, vanilla and a tad of oak, with a creamy feel to it.

The finish has a medium-length, rich in sweet and cinnamon notes and pleasantly warm.

The Four Roses Single Barrel also carries high rye presence in the mash and it feels as the first sips are quite spicy.

But as you grow accustomed it becomes sweeter, showing rich fruity notes, along vanilla and honey making it entirely pleasing.

It bites a bit, which is understandable for something bottled at 100 proof, but its complex and layered flavor profile makes up for it providing a very good pour. Price point makes this an easy sell.

This is the Best Four Roses Bourbon and one of the top Single Barrel Whiskeys so this is a legitimate good pour.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Four Roses Single Barrel:

  • Made from a mash of 60% corn, 35% rye and 5% malted barley.
  • Single Barrel is bottled from casks aged between 8 and 9 years.
  • Uses a proprietary yeast culture used to ferment the mash producing rich fruity notes.
  • Won the Gold Medal at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • Four Roses is owned by the Kirin Brewery Company of Japan.

Buffalo Trace vs Four Roses Single Barrel: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Buffalo Trace$35
Four Roses Single Barrel$50

Buffalo Trace vs Four Roses Single Barrel: Which is better?

The Four Roses is richer but more demanding

WhiskeyBuffalo TraceSingle Barrel
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Four Roses comes a bit warmer and is rich in rye making it more spicy.
  • But once you come to terms with it this is a more satisfying dram and the best Four Roses Bourbon.
  • It might feel warm at first but nothing that a drop or two of water can’t tune-down making it entirely drinkable and more fulfilling than the Buffalo Trace.
  • I’m not fond of making cocktails with spirits that go above $30 USD, but the Four Roses Single Barrel can deliver an incredible Old Fashioned.

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