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Ancient Age Bourbon Bottle Review (2024 Edition)

Ancient Age Bourbon Review

Last Updated on March 16, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Bourbon is an every-person liquor, and your daily sipper should be worthy of your home bar.

With the thriving bourbon culture, more people are keeping an eye out for exceptional bourbon brands. 

But do bargain bourbons like Ancient Age deserve our full consideration?

Let’s get down to our Ancient Age bourbon review and learn how the quality and value of this whiskey impact the bourbon world. 

In-Depth Review On Ancient Age Bourbon 

Ancient Age 90 Bottle

Ancient Age bourbon is one of the ultra-affordable bourbon made by Buffalo Trace. But this affordable dram is not off-putting to the palate. 

Its competitive price point has a ’high rye’ [1] recipe on its mash bill that offers delicious tasting notes. Bottled at 80-proof, Ancient Age is light and easy to sip. 

It has a pale amber hue that delivers good classic bourbon notes perfectly on its own or even mixing in cocktails.

Quick Facts 

DistilleryBuffalo Trace
Classification & RegionBourbon, Kentucky, USA
Alcohol Proof80-proof (40% ABV)
Mash BillMash Bill #2 (about 12-15% rye) 
Age StatementNAS (at least two years)
ColorPale amber
Average PriceAround $13 for 750ml (Drizly)

What’s Ancient Age Bourbon? 

Ancient Age is one of the youngest products made in Buffalo Trace Distillery, along with Kentucky Gentleman and White Dog moonshine. 

It is distilled from corn, rye, and barley malt. This expression doesn’t carry an age statement but is at least two years old to be considered a Kentucky straight bourbon. [2]

It has been in production and held in high regard since 1946.

Moreover, it shares Buffalo Trace’s Mash Bill #2 with top-shelf bourbons such as Blanton’s, Rock Hill Farms, and Elmer T. Lee. 

Although it is technically distilled, aged, and bottled by Buffalo Trace, this bourbon whiskey is owned by Age International.

Ancient Age Bourbon Tasting Notes

Glass of Whiskey


The aromas of Ancient Age are grain driven and pack a lot of corn notes with ethanol, and butterscotch yeasty scents, which we commonly smell in young bourbons.

Swirling brings out a small amount of vanilla, oak, floral hints, and caramel that is light on the nose. 


Ancient Age has a light flavor of sweet vanilla, honey, and caramel but lacks a real supporting sense of classic oak bourbon notes.

Now and then, light peppery notes pop while delivering the core bourbon flavors. But there’s no depth of flavors, and the texture is thin with a watery consistency.


The finish is dry and straightforward, with nothing fancy. The flavors fade shortly, leaving a ’very’ light caramel note that keeps the finish not too dry.

Our Thoughts 

First Impression

Ancient Age has interesting, straightforward Buffalo Trace hints on the nose and palate. 

“Part of the purpose of using rye in bourbon is to provide flavor…It can give you a powerful, spicy, intense bourbon experience…”

– Jay Erisman, Distiller

Initially, this bourbon also has a grainy aroma that compliments its flavors while drinking it.

The taste continues like the nose with a bit of spice, but the heat is not enough in just one sip.

Second Chance

This time, the earthy hints and rye heat pick up after a few sips, but the hints are not overpowering. Its flavors are developed but are simple enough.

Why We Like It

Bottles of ancient age bourbon
  • It has an affordable bottle price. When it comes to its price point, brand reputation, and value, Ancient Age makes an excellent selection for an everyday bourbon sipper.
  • It is an ideal cocktail mixer. At 80-proof, it makes great Manhattan and other mixed drinks that need bourbon.


  • Although it has the classic bourbon notes, Ancient Age lacks depth and has a watery profile. 
  • It has slight traces of yeasty hints found in usually young bourbon. This bourbon is not for whiskey drinkers into more complex, well-aged, robust whiskey. 

Is It Really 10 Years Old?

No, the Ancient Age 80-proof expression is not really ten years old. This brand is rumored to be aged around three years, but Ancient Age doesn’t carry an age statement. 

The truth is, Ancient Age used to have a 10-year age statement bottle, the Ancient Ancient Age 10 Year. However, it has been discontinued, and its bottles are hard to find anymore.

Ancient Age Bourbon Rating 

Close Up Shot of Ancient Age Bourbon Bottle Label

It’s not a bad bourbon for a low-priced bourbon. We’re giving a 3-star rating for this Ancient Age 80-proof bourbon, and it deserves more than other bottom-shelf bourbons.

Hands-down for its bold yet smooth-tasting profile, making it a great bourbon choice compared to other bourbons in the same category.

It is an excellent sipping bourbon for its price point, but it is better on the rocks and is great to hold itself on cocktails.

To Sip Or Skip?

We’re pleasantly surprised by how palatable this $13 bottle of bourbon is—definitely a great liquor to bring a few bottles home and keep in your liquor cabinet.

Also, it’s perfect for new bourbon drinkers looking for more affordable bourbons. But in case you can’t find it in a liquor store or online shop, here are some go-to bottle alternatives:

  • Very Old Barton
  • Benchmark
  • Evan Williams
  • Wild Turkey 81
  • Jim Beam 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Ancient Ancient Age still available?

The Ancient Ancient Age, particularly the 10-year expression, has been discontinued and dropped its label to Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star. 

But although there’s no official statement from its Buffalo Trace distillery, the Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star and its 8-year whiskey expressions can’t be seen on the Buffalo Trace website.

Who makes Ancient Age bourbon?

Ancient Age bourbon is produced by the Sazerac Company, a prominent American spirits company known for its wide range of whiskey brands.

The Sazerac Company, with a rich heritage dating back to the 19th century, operates multiple distilleries across the United States, including the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky, where Ancient Age bourbon is distilled.

What’s the difference between Ancient Age and Ancient Age 10 star?

The primary difference between Ancient Age and Ancient Age 10 Star lies in their aging process and flavor profiles. Ancient Age is a straight bourbon whiskey aged for a minimum of three years in charred oak barrels, offering a smooth and mellow taste with notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak.

On the other hand, Ancient Age 10 Star is aged longer, typically around six years, resulting in a more complex flavor profile characterized by deeper oak notes, enhanced sweetness, and a richer mouthfeel.

While both share similarities in their base recipe, the extended aging of Ancient Age 10 Star contributes to a more refined and nuanced drinking experience.

Is Ancient Age the same as Buffalo Trace?

Ancient Age and Buffalo Trace are distinct bourbon brands produced by the same parent company, the Sazerac Company. While they share the same heritage and are both crafted at the Buffalo Trace Distillery, they are separate products with their own unique characteristics.

Ancient Age bourbon maintains its own identity with a specific mash bill and aging process, whereas Buffalo Trace bourbon has its own distinct recipe and aging regimen.

However, both brands benefit from the expertise and craftsmanship of the distillers at the Buffalo Trace Distillery, renowned for producing high-quality bourbons appreciated by whiskey enthusiasts worldwide. So while they come from the same lineage, Ancient Age and Buffalo Trace offer distinct flavor profiles and experiences for bourbon aficionados to enjoy.

Is Ancient Age cheap?

Ancient Age is often considered an affordable bourbon option, making it accessible to a wide range of consumers.

Its price point tends to be lower compared to more premium or rare bourbons, making it a popular choice for those seeking good quality at a reasonable cost.

Despite its affordability, Ancient Age maintains a loyal following due to its smooth taste and historical significance.

Does Ancient Age taste like Blanton’s?

While both Ancient Age and Blanton’s are bourbons produced by the Sazerac Company, they offer distinct flavor profiles. Ancient Age is known for its smooth and mellow taste with notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak, making it a classic bourbon choice.

On the other hand, Blanton’s is celebrated for its rich and complex flavor profile, featuring layers of caramel, fruit, spice, and oak, often with a smooth finish.

While there may be some similarities in their underlying bourbon characteristics due to their shared heritage, each brand has its own unique recipe and aging process, resulting in distinct tasting experiences.

Where is Ancient Ancient Age bourbon made?

Ancient Age bourbon is proudly crafted in the United States, specifically at the Buffalo Trace Distillery located in Frankfort, Kentucky.

The Buffalo Trace Distillery, renowned for its rich bourbon-making heritage dating back to the 19th century, is where Ancient Age and many other beloved bourbon brands are distilled.

Situated in the heart of bourbon country, the distillery’s picturesque surroundings and commitment to time-honored traditions contribute to the exceptional quality of Ancient Age bourbon.

What type of whiskey is Ancient Age?

Ancient Age is classified as a straight bourbon whiskey. It is made primarily from corn, along with other grains such as rye and malted barley, and distilled to specific standards set by law.

To be labeled as straight bourbon, the whiskey must meet certain criteria, including being aged in new charred oak barrels for a minimum of two years. Ancient Age typically exceeds this minimum aging requirement, contributing to its smooth and well-developed flavor profile.

As a bourbon, Ancient Age embodies the rich tradition and craftsmanship of American whiskey-making, making it a beloved choice among bourbon enthusiasts worldwide.

Is Buffalo Trace a top shelf whiskey?

Buffalo Trace bourbon is often considered a top shelf whiskey, appreciated by enthusiasts for its exceptional quality, rich flavor profile, and historical significance.

While it may not always command the highest price among ultra-premium bourbons, its reputation for excellence and consistent acclaim from critics and consumers alike place it firmly in the realm of top shelf spirits.

Where is Ancient Age made?

Ancient Age bourbon is proudly crafted in the United States, specifically at the Buffalo Trace Distillery located in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Situated in the heart of bourbon country, the Buffalo Trace Distillery boasts a rich heritage dating back to the 19th century and is renowned for its commitment to traditional bourbon-making techniques and exceptional craftsmanship.

Is Ancient Ancient Age discontinued?

As of the latest information available, Ancient Ancient Age bourbon has not been officially discontinued.

While it may not always be as widely available as some other bourbon brands, it can typically be found in liquor stores that carry a diverse selection of spirits.

Ancient Ancient Age maintains a loyal following among bourbon enthusiasts who appreciate its unique flavor profile and historical significance.

What is Ancient Age 10 Star?

Ancient Age 10 Star is a premium expression of Ancient Age bourbon, distinguished by its extended aging process and more complex flavor profile. While the standard Ancient Age bourbon is aged for a minimum of three years, Ancient Age 10 Star undergoes longer aging, typically around six years, in charred oak barrels.

This additional aging contributes to a richer and more nuanced taste, with deeper oak notes, enhanced sweetness, and a smoother mouthfeel.

Ancient Age 10 Star represents a step up in sophistication and depth from the standard offering, making it a sought-after choice for bourbon connoisseurs seeking a more refined drinking experience.

Why is Blanton’s so popular?

Blanton’s bourbon has gained immense popularity due to its exceptional quality, unique flavor profile, and rich heritage.

Crafted with care at the Buffalo Trace Distillery, Blanton’s is celebrated for its smooth taste, complex layers of flavor, and distinctive bottle design featuring a collectible horse and jockey stopper.

Its reputation for excellence has earned it a dedicated following among whiskey enthusiasts worldwide.

Why is Blanton’s so rare now?

Blanton’s bourbon has become increasingly rare in recent years due to high demand and limited production capacity. As one of the most sought-after bourbons on the market, Blanton’s often faces supply shortages, leading to scarcity in many regions. Additionally, its aging process, meticulous craftsmanship, and adherence to traditional methods contribute to its limited availability, making each bottle a prized find for collectors and enthusiasts.

What Blanton’s does John Wick drink?

In the popular film series “John Wick,” the titular character, portrayed by Keanu Reeves, is seen enjoying Blanton’s Single Barrel bourbon.

The choice of Blanton’s in the film adds to its allure and reinforces its status as a premium bourbon favored by discerning whiskey drinkers, further cementing its iconic reputation both on and off the screen.

What is Ancient Age preferred?

Ancient Age bourbon is preferred by many for its affordability, accessibility, and classic bourbon taste.

As a value-priced option, Ancient Age offers excellent quality and a smooth drinking experience, making it a popular choice for everyday enjoyment.

Its rich history and heritage, combined with its smooth flavor profile, have endeared it to bourbon enthusiasts who appreciate its timeless appeal and exceptional value.

What is the oldest bourbon?

As of the latest information available, the oldest bourbon on record is believed to be a bottle of Old Ingledew Bourbon, dating back to the 1860s.

Discovered in 2021, this well-preserved bottle is considered the oldest known bourbon whiskey in existence, offering a rare glimpse into the history of American whiskey-making.

What is bourbon called before it’s aged?

Before bourbon is aged in charred oak barrels, it is referred to as “white dog” or “moonshine.” This clear spirit is essentially raw whiskey, freshly distilled and ready for aging.

During the aging process, the whiskey gains color, flavor, and complexity from the wood barrels, transforming into the familiar golden-brown liquid we recognize as bourbon.

Can you drink aged whiskey?

Yes, aged whiskey is intended for drinking and enjoyment. In fact, aging is a crucial step in the whiskey-making process, as it allows the spirit to develop its characteristic flavors, aromas, and smoothness over time.

Aged whiskey is typically enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as part of classic cocktails, allowing the nuanced flavors acquired during aging to shine.

What is the difference between aged whiskey and normal whiskey?

The primary difference between aged whiskey and “normal” whiskey, which typically refers to unaged or minimally aged whiskey, lies in their flavor profiles and maturity.

Aged whiskey has spent a significant amount of time in charred oak barrels, allowing it to develop complex flavors, such as caramel, vanilla, oak, and spice, along with a smooth and mellow character.

On the other hand, “normal” whiskey, such as white dog or moonshine, lacks the depth and complexity that aging provides, often exhibiting raw, harsh, or unrefined characteristics. Aging transforms whiskey, imparting richness and depth that enhance its overall quality and appeal to whiskey enthusiasts.

Final Verdict: Ancient Age Bourbon Review

After our team’s blind taste test, we must admit that we enjoyed this Ancient Age bourbon review. 

Although Ancient Age lacks depth, there are no off-notes in this bourbon, and we like it because it has a smooth taste yet is bold enough in its own way.

It is an excellent bourbon for its price point. If you want a bottle with the best bang for your buck, you can choose and drink Ancient Age bourbon.  


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