Having already tried most of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection including Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 15 year, I wasn’t sure what to expect with the 2015 Van Winkle Family Reserve Lot B. Lot B is aged for 12 years and is now entirely Buffalo Trace juice. It is still part of the Van Winkle group so I was curious.
As soon as I poured the Lot B I could smell faint cinnamon and a little hint of caramel. The longer it sat in the glass, the more the smell of leather is apparent. Though none of those scents were all consuming. I was not as impressed as I expected to be. The aroma is clean but lacks any one distinct smell that sets it apart from other bourbons.
What started as a light fruitiness turned into a buttery taste as it hit the back of my tongue. Swirling it around in my mouth I started to get the taste of leather and a small amount of oak. Again, there is no taste that stands out higher than any other. While it would seem that would be a good attribute, lacking a dominant taste prevents this bourbon from standing out among others.
For a chase bourbon there is not much of a finish. There is no bitter after taste and it does not leave the harshness that others often leave behind. The sweetness of the wood is soft and pleasant. I just wish the sweetness was more obvious.
This is a nice bourbon. Was I spoiled by other products from the Buffalo Antique Collection? No, I was not. Was I expecting more since it is part of the Van Winkle lineup? Yes, I was. I did like the 2014 of Lot B. much better than this release as it had stronger taste and finish. If you can find this bourbon at a fair price I would definitely buy it if only to say you have a Van Winkle. I would not however pay a secondary price of $350 or higher.