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Buffalo Trace vs Yellowstone Select: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Buffalo Trace vs Yellowstone Select 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 toFour Roses, Knob Creek, Bulleit Bourbon

On the nose the Buffalo Trace is quite 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 with no burn.

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 that you can drink everyday.

It lacks the punch to deliver good cocktails making me prefer the Sazerac Rye which is pretty much the same bottle but with added spice.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Buffalo Trace:

  • Mash bill is unknown but I suspect the rye content is around 10%.
  • 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.

Yellowstone Select Bourbon

yellowstone-select-bourbon
NoseVanilla, rye spice, oak
PalateOld leather, sweet corn, caramel, rye spice
FinishShort to medium, oak, baking spice
Alcohol content93 proof (46.5% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toWoodford Reserve, Bulleit Bourbon

The nose is spicy, rich in rye, along hints of vanilla and oak.

On the palate, Yellowstone has a good body and a smooth feel. You get old leather up-front, followed by rye spice, notes of sweet corn and caramel.

The finish has a short to medium length, with an oaky flavor, with notes of baking spice a tad of sweetness with just a little burn on the back.

Drinks nicely neat or on the rocks although it lacks complexity and depth to make it a memorable bourbon.

The best use for this bourbon is in cocktails as it’s spicy flavor suits well in an Old Fashioned. Lacks the warmth to make great cocktails but it works.

Yellowstone is a good introductory bourbon for newbies or something to drink once before moving into the next new thing.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Yellowstone Select Bourbon:

  • Does not have an age statement but is aged anywhere between 4-7 years.
  • We do not know how the mash bill is comprised but it seems that it runs high in rye.
  • Yellowstone was founded in the 1880s having changed ownership several times.
  • Currently owned by Paul and Steve Beam descendants of Jim Beam. But there is no relation between Jim Beam and Yellowstone as Jim Beam is owned by Suntory Holdings from Japan.

Buffalo Trace vs Yellowstone Select: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Buffalo Trace$35
Yellowstone Select$43

Buffalo Trace vs Yellowstone Select: Which is better?

Buffalo Trace provides better value for the money

  • The Buffalo Trace is a nicer drinker than the Yellowstone. A well balanced bourbon, with sweetness, spice, oak and warmth living in perfect harmony making the perfect “everyday whiskey”. No need to add ice or chaser as it drinks neat nicely without complications.
  • The Yellowstone seems to be better suited for cocktails as its spicy notes promise to make Manhattans more interesting. It drinks nicely, though, just that is not interesting enough.

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