Buffalo Trace recently announced The Prohibition Collection, a new annual, limited-release of whiskeys that honor, interestingly, Prohibition.
We’ll explain: These five new bottles are an homage to the whiskey that was legally produced and sold at the distillery during a time when the 18th Amendment prohibited most production, sale and transportation of alcohol in the United States. There was one exception: You could buy booze if you had a medical prescription, and six distilleries were given licenses to continue producing “medicinal” whiskey. One of those was George T. Stagg Distillery in Frankfort, KY, which today is known as Buffalo Trace Distillery, the longest continually operating distillery in America.
The Five New Bottles in the 2022 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, RankedThis year’s release marks a very welcome return of George T. Stagg
Buffalo Trace is no stranger to limited-edition releases: Every year the distillery issues updates to the Antique Collection, featuring an assortment of uncut and unfiltered whiskeys as old as 17 and 18 years.
We’ll actually have a tasting of the new Prohibition collection soon. For now, here’s all the information Buffalo Trace has released on the five new whiskeys.
- Old Stagg, a barrel-proof (132.4 proof), uncut and unfiltered whiskey featuring an oaky, vanilla aroma; sweet and mellow taste with notes of leather and dark cherries and a smooth vanilla finish. Old Stagg was originally created in honor of former owner George T. Stagg and replaced O.F.C. Bourbon as the Distillery’s flagship brand. Today, the brand lives on as Stagg and George T. Stagg, both barrel-proof whiskeys that have their roots in this Prohibition-era brand.
- Golden Wedding, a 107-proof rye whiskey that has heavy rye on the nose; a grainy, herbal taste with notes of dill pickle and rye; and a spicy, smokey finish with a hint of banana. The brand, which dates back to 1869, was originally produced by Schenley Distilling at the Joseph S. Finch Distillery in Pennsylvania. During Prohibition, its bottling was split between Schenley’s Pennsylvania distillery and the George T. Stagg Distillery. In the late 1940s, the brand was moved to Schenley’s distillery in Canada and would become a Canadian whiskey before ceasing to exist in the late 20th century.
- Three Feathers, a 100-proof, bottled-in-bond whiskey created by Buffalo Trace Master Blender Drew Mayville. Dating back to at least 1812, Three Feathers was first advertised as a luxurious rye before becoming a bonded and then a blended whiskey. Today’s recreation presents a vanilla, charred oak aroma with stone and light tropical fruit taste, and a smokey, caramel and a slight cocoa finish.
- Walnut Hill, a 90-proof high-rye bourbon featuring a slightly citrus aroma with light corn and oak notes; sweet molasses, stone fruit and vanilla taste; and a smokey, woodsy finish. This historic spirit was bottled by the George T. Stagg Distillery during Prohibition with production overseen by President Albert Blanton.
- George T. Stagg Distillery Spiritus Frumenti, a 110-proof wheated bourbon honoring the medicinal whiskey produced at the George T. Stagg Distillery. “Spiritus Frumenti,” which translates as “Spirit of the Grain” in Latin, existed as a generic name for medicinal whiskey during Prohibition. Tasting notes include an aroma of caramelized brown sugar; fruity yet floral taste with notes of cherry and oak; and finishes with vanilla, wheat and citrus.
“We stand behind our motto, ‘Honor Tradition, Embrace Change’,” says Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Master Distiller. “Each of these brands disappeared slowly in the years after Prohibition, but they were integral to our survival. Without them, today there would be no Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare or Weller bourbons. The Prohibition Collection is a tribute to these great whiskeys from our past.”
The entire collection is housed in a custom wooden display case, with each of the five 375ml bottles inspired by their Prohibition Era packaging and original bottle size: the back cartons feature a replica cut-out for doctors to apply the prescription for medicinal whiskey. The Prohibition Collection will be rolling out in limited quantities and will ship to select retailers, bars and restaurants across the United States as of October 2023 at a suggested retail price of $999.99.
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