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Buffalo Trace vs Willett Pot Still Reserve: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Buffalo Trace vs Willett Pot Still Reserve in this head to head 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 toWild Turkey 101, Eagle Rare, Maker’s Mark

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 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.

Use the Sazerac Rye which is the same as the Buffalo Trace but with added rye!

There are a few facts worth knowing about Buffalo Trace:

  • Bottled at 80 proof.
  • 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; 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.

Willett Pot Still Reserve

willett-pot-still
NoseFrench toast, caramel, oak
PalateBrown sugar, fruit, oak, spice
FinishOak, leather, spice
Alcohol content94 proof (47% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toBlanton’s, Willett Rye 4 Year

Willett is quite pleasant on the nose with a strong hint of French toast, topped with caramel and a side order of oak.

Taste is mostly sweet, rich in ripe fruit, although a bit thin with not much body. There are moderate hints of oak, caramel and a faint bitter note with very little warmth to it.

The finish has a decent length, hits with some spice and oak and a light apple hint.

Willett is not very complex, lacks in body, it won’t blow your mind with any remarkable flavor and yet good as it makes a tasty easy drinker.

It reminds me of the Clase Azul Tequila a bit, for having better looks than substance, but the juice in the beautiful decanter is not bad and makes a nice decoration piece at home.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Willet:

  • Bottled at 94 proof.
  • Willet’s mash bill is undisclosed but I firmly suspect is 78% corn, 10% rye, 12% malted barley.
  • This bourbon is aged from 8 to 10 years.

Buffalo Trace vs Willett Pot Still Reserve: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Buffalo Trace$35
Willett Pot Still Reserve$55

Buffalo Trace vs Willett Pot Still Reserve: Which is better?

Buffalo Trace provides better value for the money

WhiskeyBuffalo TraceWillett
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • If you have already tried the Buffalo Trace and enjoyed it stick to it.
  • If you are looking for a change the Willet offers bad value for the money, is a bit thin, does not have any remarkable flavor, not very complex but it makes an easy sipper in a beautiful decanter at a price that does not break the bank.
  • Willett is something to drink once, keep the bottle as a token and move on to the new thing.

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