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Eagle Rare vs Woodford Reserve: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Eagle Rare 10 Year vs Woodford Reserve in this in-depth comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

Eagle Rare 10 Year Straight Bourbon

NoseToasted oak, orange peel, maple syrup
PalateOak, dried fruit, vanilla, caramel, baking spice
FinishOak, tobacco, leather
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toBuffalo Trace, E.H. Taylor, Weller

The Eagle Rare is crafted at the Buffalo Trace Distillery using the same mash as the Buffalo Trace, the difference lies in around 4 additional years of aging providing more oak to the bourbon.

Nose kicks-off with toasted oak, followed by orange peel, red fruit and maple syrup.

On the palate, the Eagle Rare shows a creamy body as the texture feels buttery. First sip is strong in oak, but as you let it develop vanilla, dried fruit, caramel and baking spice pop-up bringing good balance to the dram.

The finish is long, providing a bit of a bite, with more oak to it, along old leather and tobacco notes.

Adding water brings a bit more of caramel, tunes-down the finish, although it remains oaky.

Eagle Rare might not be the best bourbon for beginners as it’s a bit too oaky, but it has plenty to appreciate as it drinks quite nicely and makes one of the best 10 year old whiskeys.

I have compiled a list of replacements to Eagle Rare that should look into as it has become increasingly hard to find.

Eagle Rare ticks all the right boxes as it’s aromatic, complex, full-bodied, tasty and pleasantly warm making it a keeper.

There are a few things worth knowing about Eagle Rare:

  • It ages for no less than 10 years in new, highly charred American oak barrels under the sun.
  • The barrels are hand-picked for quality and consistency before bottling.
  • The brand was launched in 1975 by Seagram, was later purchased by the Old Prentice Distillery and was acquired by Sazerac in 1989.

Woodford Reserve

NoseMint, honey, vanilla, citrus
PalateSweet oak, cinnamon, mint, ripe fruit
FinishOak, caramel, baking spice
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toWoodford Double Oaked, Elijah Craig

Woodford Reserve is pleasant and subtle on the nose, with hints of wood, mint, vanilla and caramel.

Palate is sweet and spicy yet entirely smooth. Some oak up front, but in moderation, along cinnamon, mint, and a sweet fruity note.

The finish brings additional sweetness, along oak, and satisfying warmth that lingers.

The Woodford Reserve Bourbon is nicely balanced, body is creamy and does not have any off-putting or demanding notes.

It makes a great sipper due to its smoothness and is yet spicy due to rich cinnamon notes.

This is a sweet and mellow bourbon with the right level of heat that drinkers of all levels will appreciate alike.

Excellent everyday bourbon, smooth and clean, good both neat and on ice.

I find it somewhat weak to make great cocktails. I’d rather use the Woodford Rye that has many tasting notes in common but with additional rye in the mash making it more spicy and punchy.

  • Woodford’s mash bill is made from 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% barley; the rye content makes it a bit spicy.
  • This bourbon ages for 7 years in one of the few warehouses that uses heat cycling. This process involves cooling and heating the air to closely control the aging.
  • Earned gold and double gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
  • The brand belongs to Brown-Forman who also owns Jack Daniel’s, Herradura Tequila, Old Forester and a few other brands.

Eagle Rare vs Woodford Reserve: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Eagle Rare$50
Woodford Reserve$40

Eagle Rare vs Woodford Reserve: Which is better?

Eagle Rare is more satisfying

WhiskeyEagle RareWoodford Reserve
  • The Eagle Rare is just a tiny step over the Woodford Reserve as it feels like a more mature and complex bourbon.
  • It hits harder with the oak, making the finish somewhat dry, but is packed with nice tasting notes providing a solid experience from nose to finish.
  • Woodford Reserve is smooth and nicely balanced, nothing particularly remarkable about except for a pleasing toasted oak note, but most importantly nothing off-putting.
  • If you are new to bourbon you will be better served with the Woodford Reserve which is an easier drinker.

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