Eagle Rare Bourbon 10 Year Review [In Depth]

Eagle Rare Bourbon 10 Year

Alex author
by: ALEX WANG
Founder, writer
eagle rare bourbon 10 year review

Eagle Rare Bourbon 10 Year Details

Distillery: Buffalo Trace

Type & Region: Bourbon, Kentucky, USA

Alcohol: 45%

Composition: Mash #1, speculated to be 75% corn, 10% rye, 15% barley

Aged: 10 years in virgin American white oak

Color: 1.2/2.0 on the color scale (chestnut, oloroso sherry)

Price: $30 (750mL) from Costco, $40+ in many markets

From the company website:

“Eagle Rare 10 year old Kentucky straight Bourbon whiskey has a sweet, oaky nose and full, complex body. Reminiscent of a fine port wine, this rare whiskey is best served neat, or over ice. Of course, feel free to drink Eagle Rare in such classic cocktails as the Manhattan or Whiskey Sour.”

Eagle Rare 10 year bourbon review

Eagle Rare Bourbon 10 Year is one of the many Buffalo Trace products made from the lower-rye Mash #1 that includes Benchmark Bourbon, Buffalo Trace, EH Taylor Small Batch, and Stagg Jr.
Unlike all the others, Eagle Rare 10 year carries a 10-year age statement, although I’ve read rumors that it could be older. I know for a fact that some of the older single barrel picks had 13 year old bourbon in them.
In years past, Eagle Rare was a single barrel bourbon, but that changed when bottling switched from hand to machine-bottled, creating the chance that different barrels might mix. As a result, Buffalo Trace doesn’t put single barrel on the labeling anymore.
I also must mention that like other Buffalo Trace products, Eagle Rare bourbon tends to fly off the shelves, leading to occasionally inflated prices at some stores and/or difficulty finding it. Can the inflated prices be justified? Let’s find out in this Eagle Rare Bourbon review.
As an FYI, I also have reviewed Potomac Wine and Spirit’s Eagle Rare 10 Barrel Select, so if you like Eagle Rare, be sure to check out that review as well.
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Eagle Rare bourbon 10 year smell

The first sniff of Eagle Rare Bourbon 10 Year reveals a light and delicate mix of sweet mashed corn, caramel, honey, vanilla, citrus, and a dark fruit I can’t quite identify, mixed-in with woody oak and minty rye.
It’s has nice woody, spicy, and fruity qualities with minimal heat, attributed to the “lower” 45% alcohol. Swirling releases more charred wood, nuts, pine, mint, and rye, likely coming from the wood and not so much from the low-rye mash. 
The agitated alcohol nicely accentuates the mint like the scent of a freshly opened pack of peppermint gum bursting from the wrapper. It also releases light vanilla frosting, orange and vanilla creamsicle, and the faintest hint of dark fudge and dried oranges. Yeah, Eagle Rare 10 Year bourbon smells good, but not quite amazing.
When the glass is empty, I smell bright mint and musty rackhouse wood. The nose is light but not lacking in character and complexity.
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Eagle Rare bourbon 10 year Taste & Aftertaste

Moderate wood, spice, and mint immediately hit my tongue, followed by caramel and some alcohol heat. The first taste of Eagle Rare bourbon is not particularly complex, but “chewing” the second time does improve it.
It unveils orange, plum, more caramel, honey, and vanilla sweetness in addition to the existing wood, pine, and mint. Eagle Rare 10 Year definitely gets better with air and “chewing”.
There’s also a lightly nutty taste mixed with stewed corn. The alcohol remains reserved throughout, adding a little body to the otherwise thinner mouthfeel that’s a little rougher and unrefined than expected for a 10 year old bourbon. 
Wood tannins initially linger throughout, mixed-in with vanilla, fruit, rye, and caramel. The woodiness transitions into chocolate and then light and tangy orange, all reinforcing that this is 10 year old bourbon.
“Chewing” really changes the finish. Wood and pine are still present, but a slightly stronger nuttiness appears as well as fleeting notes of coconut, fading into a lasting mint. It all makes my mouth feel a little dry.
Eagle Rare 10 year’s taste is overall very pleasant and enjoyable, but not nearly as outstanding as something that flies off the shelves should be. Still, I’ve enjoyed drinking Eagle Rare and will probably buy more every now and then.

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Eagle Rare Bourbon 10 Year Rating

Mid shelf+
Eagle Rare 10 Year is pretty good. It’s well balanced and has essentially everything you could want in a bourbon but is a little rougher than I think it should be.
The flavors could be even better, but they’re held back and dulled a bit by the lower proof that doesn’t allow it to showcase everything it has to offer. Yes of course there are higher-ABV options such as Stagg Jr, but good luck finding one. Still, Eagle Rare 10 Year is enjoyable and would be great as a more wallet-friendly daily sipper (assuming you can find it at MSRP).
Eagle Rare 10 for me is a step up from Wild Turkey 101 and Maker’s Mark in flavor and complexity, but its far from being a top shelf bourbon. Even with the same mash, it’s very different than EH Taylor Small Batch and Stagg Jr. Stagg Jr. is at a completely different level, but I can definitely say that I prefer EH Taylor Small Batch to Eagle Rare bourbon. 
I’m happy to drink Eagle Rare Bourbon 10 Year and recommend it as a good place start drinking good bourbon. I’m not going to try too hard to get more and/or over pay, but I’ll buy it again when the time is right.
Alex author
Meet the Author: Alex

I have far too much fun writing about whiskey and singlehandedly running The Whiskey Shelf to bring you independent, honest, and useful reviews, comparisons, and more. I’m proudly Asian American and can speak Cantonese, Mandarin, and some Japanese.

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BrüMate NOS’R, Double-Wall Stainless Steel Whiskey Nosing Glass – 7oz (Matte Black)

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