I Ranked Every Bottle of the 2022 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection

Let me tell you what an incredible opportunity this one was. My editor had told me to inquire about the new Van Winkle releases, but it turned out they don’t send press review samples. And hey, fair play, that stuff is a guaranteed hit, better to have a few more bottles for people to buy. But not long after, they emailed me and asked if I’d be interested in trying the 2022 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. And man, it was amazing. Really interesting whiskeys in five different directions.

I know, I know…someone’s going to read this and call me an absolute whiskey idiot for saying the Weller is at the bottom of the list. Look, I’m not calling it a disappointment, I’m just saying if you served me five bourbons and asked me to guess which one wasn’t part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, the Weller would be my pick before you revealed they all were, and then I would be sad all day because I expected my prejudice towards wheated bourbons and that one in particular to push it to the top. I wanted it to be great, then I was surprised it fell to the bottom of the list.

So in a sense…yay, objective analysis of a subjective experience? What I can tell you for certain is I will very soon be the proud possessor of a bottle of Stagg Jr. If it half compares to its daddy. Man, that and the Handy really live up to their rep, but they were all excellent. I don’t know as I’d pay four figures even for Stagg, but if you asked me what glass I’d want to sip at my wedding cocktail hour, have I got a request for you.

Buffalo Trace and Heaven Hill, back in my “very ignorant and yet only slightly less ignorant than now” days sent me some great bottles at CBS, and I was lucky enough to try them before the entire market left the stratosphere. I developed a great affection for both, but nothing in my experience would have me thinking I’d be getting paid to try their top offerings alongside great scotches and other legendary bourbons. I tell you, some days this freelance game is the best job in the world. Check out my 2022 BTAC rankings over at Tasting Table, and feel free to tell me why I’m wrong.