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Buffalo Trace vs New Riff: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Buffalo Trace vs New Riff in this head to head comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

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 toBowman Brothers, Gentleman Jack

Buffalo Trace is one of the best-selling bourbons 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.

New Riff Kentucky Straight Bourbon Bottled in Bond

NoseOak, rye spice, vanilla, caramel
PalateVanilla, caramel, rye spice, mint
FinishOak spice, rye spice and caramel
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkRocks or adding water
Similar toBulleit Bourbon

The nose is rich offering a note of young oak at first, followed by a gentle rye spice note, along vanilla, caramel and baking spice.

On the palate, the New Riff displays a good creamy body. Flavor brings vanilla and caramel, along a strong hit of rye spice that does not overwhelm.

There is a peppermint note which is typical of rye whiskey and a tad of black pepper.

The finish has a moderate length, bringing a bit of warmth but nothing extreme, along a bitter oak spice note, more rye spice and a touch of caramel.

Drinks nicely neat, while adding water doesn’t change the flavor much. It has some warmth to it and rye spice but nothing in excess making it quite enjoyable for those who want a tasty dram.

The finish lacks a bit in length but overall it makes a good option for those who are fond of rye spice in moderation.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the New Riff:

  • This bourbon is bottled in bond.
  • Aged for 4 years.
  • Made from 3 non-GMO grains including 65% corn, 30% rye and 5% malted barley.
  • Crafted at its own distillery in Kentucky which opened in 2014.

Buffalo Trace vs New Riff: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Buffalo Trace$35
New Riff$44

Buffalo Trace vs New Riff: Which is better?

New Riff is a more tasty bourbon

WhiskeyBuffalo TraceNew Riff
  • New Riff is an interesting release as there are not many 4 year, high in rye, bottled in bond and non chill-filtered bourbons.
  • It drinks nicely neat, with some warmth and spice to it but nothing severe making a tasty and pleasant sip.
  • The Buffalo Trace is an easy pour, yet interesting and satisfying, hence its popularity making it one of the best-selling bourbons.

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