Can’t Find Buffalo Trace Antique Collection Bourbons? Here Are Five ‘Replacements’


October 6, 2021

If you’re a bourbon lover, you’re most likely always on the lookout for Buffalo Trace products, particularly the coveted Buffalo Trace Antique Collection offerings. But even though they retail for a reasonable $99, finding them at retail is a task. Let’s face it, it’s nearly a pipe dream.

But Fred Minnick took to YouTube to offer some consolation in response to a question from YouTube member Shawn Dent. Here are Fred’s five “replacements” for those elusive Antique Collection products:

William LaRue Weller: Fred’s obtainable replacement bourbon is Maker’s Mark Cask Strength. “If you put it in a blind tasting, there’s a chance [Maker’s] can win it,” Fred said, adding that it’s “an absolute gem.” Note that both are wheated bourbons, but Weller is aged about six years longer.

George T. Stagg: Heck, there’s not even going to be a Stagg release this year, so this one becomes even more important. Fred’s replacement is Wild Turkey Rare Breed. Fred says Rare Breed beat the entire BTAC lineup in an Instagram blind tasting on Instagram. “It has a chance to win any blind tasting, any day of the week,” he said. The age and mashbill are similar, and Fred says Rare Breed beats it in most of his tastings.

Thomas H. Handy Rye: The replacement for this rye in Fred’s mind is a tougher one to nail down. But, he’s going to give the nod to Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye. It’s going to be a bit tougher to find than the other replacements on this list, but he said there are still some out there, and without the price-gouging.

Sazerac 18 Year Old: Last year’s Rye Whiskey of the Year for Fred, making it another tough one to replace. However, Russell’s Reserve 6 Year Old Rye is one that “punches above the pay grade,” as does Pikesville Rye. “I’m definitely buying it over Baby Saz. I don’t think Baby Saz can hold a candle to” the Russell’s Rye. “I don’t know why it doesn’t get more credit.”

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old: This hasn’t traditionally been one of Fred’s favorite — he said he can probably recommend 100 bourbons over this Eagle Rare from the BTOC collection. “It’s over-oaked every single year for me,” he said. So, things like the ubiquitous Elijah Craig, Four Roses Single Barrel and the like are preferable. But his replacement in terms of an age comparison is Knob Creek 12 Year Old. It’s close in proof, it’s got some age on it, it’s available and it’s not over-oaked. “I don’t understand how people overlook it so much,” he says of Knob Creek products. He even says the 9 Year version, which is everywhere, is preferable to the Eagle Rare 17 Year Old, at least for his palate.