The UK’s limited allocation of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2014 is on the high seas, with the eagerly-awaited five-strong collection of bourbon and rye whiskeys available to the UK from mid-October.
Available through distributor Hi-Spirits, the annually-released Antique Collection are among the finest spirits produced at the historic Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky. The five 2014 Antique Collection whiskeys are:
George T Stagg: The 2013 release of this uncut and unfiltered bourbon received the Chairman’s Trophy at the 2014 Ultimate Spirits Challenge. The 2014 allocation has been slightly increased, benefiting from increased distillation starting in 1997.
William Larue Weller: The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon was given a “95” rating by Whisky Advocate Magazine last year. The 2014 offering was distilled in the spring of 2002 and at 70.1% proof is the strongest Weller release ever.
Thomas H Handy Sazerac Rye: Uncut and unfiltered, the 2013 edition was named the World’s Best Rye Whiskey at the 2014 World Whiskies Awards. This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2008.
Eagle Rare 17 Year Old: The previous edition of this bourbon was awarded a Silver Outstanding Medal at the 2013 International Wine and Spirits Competition.
Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old: The 2013 Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old release was awarded a Gold Medal at the World Whisky Awards.
The latest Antique Collection release comes as sales of American whiskey continue to boom in the UK. Data from research specialist Nielsen shows that the category typically appeals to younger consumers than scotch, with growth driven by premium brands.
Nielsen figures show off-trade sales of American whiskey grew 15.3% in the year to April 26 2014, while CGA Peach data shows on-trade sales up 4.2% in the year to April 19 2014.
Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “There is always high demand for our limited UK allocation of the Antique Collection, and we expect that to be higher than ever for the 2014 release after another year of category growth for the American whiskey.”
Recommended prices for the Antique Collection in retail are expected to be in the range of £120 to £140 per bottle.