The next Binny’s Handpicked Buffalo Trace is on the way. It might seem like this is a story we’ve told before, but each of our Buffalo Trace Handpicks is a little different, and this next batch is no exception. After a painstaking afternoon, and after making a dumb mistake, we ended up with a Buffalo Trace we are proud to call Binny’s Handpicked. Here’s how it happened.
We started out this time with 24 barrel samples. It seems like our Buffalo Trace vattings sell out sooner and sooner, so we were hoping for a batch of 17 barrels, our biggest yet. Remember that our goal is to create the most delicious and consistent bourbon, one that we think is a step above the standard Buffalo Trace. We taste across all the samples, finding those that are right on target with that special Binny’s thumbprint, and blend a small amount of all the samples. Then we find more samples that are spicier or sweeter that we can use to hone the final blend to just the right balance.
That’s the mistake we made this time. We found 17 favorites almost immediately. It’s tough when all the samples are this good. So we went ahead and blended all 17, and the blend was just short of perfect. Too much spice across the back, too soft up front. Some fruit, but a little odd. Maybe too spirited. This would not do. We needed to fix the blend, take out some of the spicier samples.
Problem is, it’s easy to add another sample to a blend, but it isn’t so easy to take one out.
We had to start over. We reviewed our notes for all 17 favorites and found the two absolute spiciest and most spirited samples to leave out. We made vatting #2, a blend of 15 barrels. This one was much better. Prettier, brighter. Round with the butter, vanilla and caramel we love in BT, and with plenty of spicy spine. This was a keeper….
…But we’re not the types to leave it at that. So we made a vatting #3 with those same fifteen plus the fattest, gooiest, most caramelly sweet sample we had. The result? A bit too much. So we stuck with vatting #2.
Our newest Handpicked Buffalo Trace vatting should show up any time, so keep an eye out for it. And if you still have some of our previous batch around (lucky you!) try them both side-by-side and let us know what you think!