Thanks to /u/I_SAID_NO_GOLDFISH for this sample.
From Tragedy sometimes come good things. Like how the destruction of Pompei gave us a cure for various types of cancer.
Oh, wait, it didn’t. No amount of sacrifice of human life can justify good things. What are you, a child?
In the case of Buffalo Trace, though, an unfortunate accident that cost no one their life gave them an interesting release. I’ll let the website’s description state it better than I ever could, and with less dick jokes.
On Sunday evening, April 2, 2006, a severe storm with tornado strength winds tore through Central Kentucky, damaging two Buffalo Trace Distillery aging warehouses. One of the damaged warehouses was Warehouse C, a treasured warehouse on property, built by Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. in 1881. It sustained significant damage to its roof and north brick wall, exposing a group of aging bourbon barrels to the elements. That summer, the exposed barrels waited patiently while the roof and walls were repaired, meanwhile being exposed to the Central Kentucky climate.
So a fluke accident ended up changing the situation that the barrels were in. Like Glenfiddich Snow Phoenix, an accident lead to circumstances that could produce a good whiskey.
And they’re lucky. In other cases, they could have tasted the cask and found a pile of sawdust and scorched pain on their hands. Or it could have tasted the exact same, thus making them question if this warehouse, a treasured asset, did anything (luckily it does have an effect).
And so the Tornado force winds, which caused damage to property, were an accident with financial hurt and damage to a treasured building. Like Champagne or chocolate chip cookies, this accident caused Colonel E.H. Taylor Warehouse C Tornado Surviving, a special edition of Colonel E.H. Taylor to be brought to the market.
And since no one will ever be able to recreate the situation, or hope to recreate the situation, this is a rarity that has since gone “pants on head retarded” on the secondary market. And note when I use the term before, I in no way am comparing it to the mentally challenged. They have more sense then some of us on the secondary.
So, let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 10YR 5/8
Nose: Cherry, oak, apple crumble, cranberry, really fresh grapes, gingerbread, sea air
Initial blast of cherry and oak. Eventually opens up more and more, getting this fresh note. Very fruity and oak filled. Lots of vanilla, but also some rich, strong notes.
Alright. Maybe they were onto something. I’m not saying that we wish for Tornadoes…. but… well, I mean… this has a great nose.
Taste: Malt, grape jelly, cloves, butter, ginger candy, peanut
Again, richness is the name of the game on this one. I made a grape jelly with spices to be used on meat a few years ago. You wouldn’t want to put it on toast, but on meat it really pops. Especially beef. Rich, dark grapes, lots of spices, and tons of butter.
I may have gained 2 pounds just writing that last description.
Finish: Pepper, oak, cherry fluff, molasses, milk chocolate
Oddly sweet at the end. I know Bourdain killed fluff as a culinary trend (thank fuck), but if you were lucky to miss out, imagine something that almost has the flavour, but is really airy and you’re angry about it.
I’ll say the finish isn’t as rich or as deep as the taste or nose. Damn fluke events not being perfect. Dammit
Conclusion: This is by far an interesting fluke of a dram. Really rich, tasty, and reminds me almost of a heavily sherried Bunnahabhain. I can see why people went nuts for this. Honestly don’t think that justifies the sheer amount of insanity for it, but I can see why, at very least, this was celebrated so much.
If I were Buffalo Trace, then I wouldn’t be typing as I’d be a corporation that doesn’t have a consciousness. But none the less, I’d be looking into new potential warehouse designs.
Hell, if I was anyone else, I’d consider buying an old ratty barn with a hole in the roof and throw some barrels in different parts.
I guess try this if you ever have the chance and the money. Otherwise… well try some of the other limited editions instead.
Bourbon review #141, Kentucky review #98, Whiskey Network review #793