Eagle Rare 17 Review: American Whisky, Yeee Haw!

on Jun 10 in Spirits by dan

Yeeee Haw!!!

I am pretty confident in saying that both whisky enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts have only really experienced american whisky in Jack Daniels form. So I’ve made an effort to¬† invesitgate the stateside offerings and to see how they stand up to the Scotish might.

For me, American whisky stirs up images from the wild west like in Back to the Future III or something like this excellent bar brawl from War Wagon:

Eagle Rare 17 years old is a good place to start in an attempt to address my current American whisky and lack of understanding

What is Eagle Rare 17?

In American whisky there are common types of whiskies. This is a Bourbon, meaning its made from 51%+ corn, stored in first fill charred oak barrels.

Sold by Buffalo Trace, who are seem to be a ‘big deal’ in American whisky. Eagle Rare 17 is matured over a longer period especially when compared with it’s Kentucky brothers and sisters. In the hot American states whisky’s are matured quicker than those in Scotland, so its tatse in theory should reflect this. However that also makes it more expensive, (the angels take a bigger share) age does come at a premium.

So lets do the Eagle Rare 17 Review

Eagle Rare 17 Review

Watered down first from 45% to around 30% .

Nose: Far from the wild west moonshine ‘gut rot’ I imagined, this smells quite dry, perfumey and feminine; its got oak, almond, leather and rum notes. It makes you coo with apreciation for the nose. It is actually a slightly sickly smell after a while.

Taste and Feel: Little viscosity, very silky, not much mouth coating, light almonds and heavy oak, violets and a nice amount of smooth spice.

Finish: The violet and almonds come through at the end with the sweet spice and leather lasting the longest. I can taste a very slight simialrity to ‘JD’ but its like the similarity between a ginger house hold moggie and a Bengal tiger.


I may have ruined myself for other American whisky with this being so special. This is an amazing whisky, and it is so different from any Scotch I’ve had. It was really a suprise.

I expected; rough and ready, harsh and challenging. What I got was delicate, complex and delicious whisky.

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