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Ancient Age Bourbon Bottle Review (2023 Edition)

Ancient Age Bourbon Review

Last Updated on August 21, 2023 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 

Distillery Buffalo Trace
Classification & Region Bourbon, Kentucky, USA
Alcohol Proof 80-proof (40% ABV)
Mash Bill Mash Bill #2 (about 12-15% rye) 
Age Statement NAS (at least two years)
Color Pale amber
Rating 3-star
Average Price Around $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

Nose 

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. 

Palate

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.

Finish

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.

Drawbacks 

  • 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 

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?

Even though Age International owned the brand, the Buffalo Trace Distillery makes the Ancient Age bourbon.

Before Buffalo Trace, it used to be George T. Stagg Distillery, but before that, Ancient Age Distillery initially made the Ancient Age bourbon.

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

Ancient Age bourbon is bottled at 80-proof, while the 10 Star bottle is bottled at 90-proof. 

Final Thoughts 

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.  

References:

  1. https://www.eater.com/drinks/2015/8/13/9113965/whiskey-guide 
  2. https://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/04/5-rules-that-make-it-bourbon.html
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