Liquor Laboratory

ll logo white
ll logo white

Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old Bourbon Bottle Review & Guide

Eagle Rare 17-Year Bourbon Review 

Last Updated on March 8, 2024 by Lydia Martin

One of the highlights of the BT Antique Collection is the Eagle Rare’s 17-Year-Old expression. 

If you’re on the lookout to get a hold of this rare bottle, you should hear us out before you continue to hunt down and spend a good sum of money on this spirit. 

Check out this Eagle Rare 17 Year Bourbon review and assess if this whiskey is worth the money or just another hype from loyal fans. 

Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old Bourbon In-Depth Review

Bottle of Eagle Rare 17 Bourbon Whiskey on a Table, eagle rare 17 year bourbon review

This 2022 release of E. Rare 17yo rested inside the barrels for almost two decades. 

The spirit is aged on the Buffalo Trace Warehouse H, K, and L with the start of distillation in the spring of 2005, then bottled and released in the 2022 fall. 

So as expected, it’s complex, bold, and intense, with the proof as one of the big factors. The classic flavors are present: cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, oak, and fruits. 

It has heat and dominant wood and oak tones from the nose down to the finish. There’s nothing special, honestly, and it’s expensive. 

Quick Facts 

DistilleryBuffalo Trace Distillery
Classification & RegionStraight Bourbon, Kentucky
Alcohol Proof101
Mash BillMash Bill #1
Age Statement17-Year-Old
ColorLight Amber/Copper 
Rating4.5-Star Rating
Average PriceAround $99 (to over $2,000)

What’s Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old Bourbon? 

This 17-Year-Old ER is just the older variation of the standard ER bourbon.

It’s included in the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection along with Sazerac Rye 18 YO, William Larue Weller, George T. Stagg, and Thomas H. Handy Straight Rye Whiskey. 

The 2022 Eagle Rare 17-Year release is distilled from the Distillers Grade #1 & #2 Kentucky Corn, North Dakota malted barley, and Minnesota rye, but the percentage of the mash is undisclosed. 

What Does It Taste Like? 

Man Drinking Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old Bourbon

Nose 

Beautiful nose. The notes are working in harmony. The aroma of fruits, vanilla beans, and cherry pie dominates the entire nose, but there’s a hint of cinnamon dust, orange peel, tobacco, aged oak, and baking spice.  

Palate

After the enticing aromas, the wood and oaky notes come through the palate on the first sip. 

“One of the best Eagle Rare 17s ever and perhaps my favorite.”

– F. Paul Pacult, Spirits Journalist/Author 

As we continue the sip, the delicious flavors of dark fruit, blackberry jam, vanilla, caramel, rye spice, and nutmeg coats the mouth. 

The palate has a little citrus taste, giving it a unique flavor profile as your sip proceeds.    

Finish

At the finish is where the 17-year aging becomes apparent. Flavors of leather, barrel char, and oak influence play through as it lingers on the palate down to the throat. 

What’s interesting is there’s a sweet spice complementing this whiskey’s aged oak flavor, rye, and leather taste. 

On the aftertaste, there are flavors of cinnamon and caramel, which feels dry.  

Why We Like It 

Eagle Rare 17 Bourbon Whiskey Bottle Cap
  • In terms of complexity, Eagle Rare 17-Year didn’t disappoint, which is apparent in the finish, in particular, due to the oak influence from couple years of aging time. 
  • The fruit-forward and oak spice combine well with the sweet and a bit smoky nose.
  • This bourbon whiskey is rightfully aged in barrels, which justifies the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection concept. 

Drawbacks 

  • This brand is hard to find, particularly, this 17-Year Old, with limited availability. 
  • This bourbon whiskey can be too complex and intense for beginners.
  • Too overwhelming at some point, as expected for its age. It feels hotter the more you sip.    

The Rating On Eagle Rare 17-Year

Eagle Rare 17 has always been a top-shelf bottle, along with other whiskey bottles from the Antique Collection. 

We give it a 4.5-star rating because, given this whiskey’s higher quality and age, there’s no surprise element in this drink, just the classic flavors of bourbon with a higher proof. 

Is It Worth Its Secondary Price? 

Close UP Shot of Eagle Rare 17 Bourbon Whiskey

The MSRP of the 2022 release is $99 per 750ml, but the secondary price point of Eagle Rare 17-Year is really hefty, which is now around $2,000, depending on where you buy it. 

The MSRP is reasonable, but the second price is too pricey for a classic bottle of whiskey. 

Given the age statement, that’s understandable.

But considering the overall character and profile of this Eagle Rare 17 YO’s recent release, it’s not worth the money– too expensive. 

There are better alternative bottles you can find that are a little lower than ER’s current price point, including: 

  • Heaven Hill Heritage Collection 17-Year-Old Barrel Proof Bourbon ($1,000) [1]
  • Russell’s Reserve 16-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon ($250)
  • Calumet Farm 14-Year-Old Single Rack Black Kentucky Straight Bourbon ($120)
  • Blue Run 13-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon ($170)
  • George Dickel 15-Year-Old Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey ($60) 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Eagle Rare discontinued?

No, Eagle Rare isn’t discontinued. The only thing that’s discontinued is the production of their 10-Year-Olds with 101-proof to focus on their 90-proof expressions.   

What is so special about Eagle Rare?

What’s special about Eagle Rare is its complexity and bold flavors due to the aging process of no less than a decade. 

Why is Eagle Rare so hard to find?

Eagle Rare’s expressions are hard to find because of several factors: allocation, premium quality, and limited production and release. 

Is Eagle Rare good bourbon?

Eagle Rare is widely regarded as an excellent bourbon, earning praise for its rich and complex flavor profile. Distilled by Buffalo Trace Distillery, Eagle Rare consistently delivers a smooth and well-balanced experience with notes of caramel, vanilla, and a hint of fruit, making it a favorite among bourbon enthusiasts.

What proof is Eagle Rare 17?

Eagle Rare 17, part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, is typically released at a higher proof compared to the standard Eagle Rare expression.

The exact proof can vary between releases, but it is commonly found in the 90 to 100 proof range, contributing to a more robust and intense flavor experience.

Why is Eagle Rare whiskey so popular?

Eagle Rare whiskey has gained popularity for several reasons. Its affordability, considering its quality, makes it accessible to a broad range of consumers.

Additionally, the bourbon’s well-balanced and approachable flavor profile appeals to both seasoned whiskey connoisseurs and those new to the spirit.

Limited releases, such as Eagle Rare 17, contribute to the brand’s desirability, as enthusiasts seek these special editions for their unique and collectible nature.

How do you drink Eagle Rare Bourbon?

Eagle Rare Bourbon can be enjoyed in various ways to suit individual preferences. Neat, on the rocks, or in classic bourbon cocktails, such as an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan, are popular choices.

Many bourbon enthusiasts appreciate sipping Eagle Rare neat to fully experience its nuanced flavors, while others may choose to add a splash of water or enjoy it over a single large ice cube to slightly dilute the spirit and enhance certain characteristics.

What bourbon does John Wick drink?

In the John Wick film series, the character John Wick, played by Keanu Reeves, is depicted as a fan of Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon.

Blanton’s, known for its distinctive horse-shaped stoppers and high-quality single barrel releases, has gained recognition in the real world as well, becoming a sought-after bourbon among collectors and enthusiasts.

The choice of Blanton’s for John Wick’s character adds a touch of sophistication and aligns with the film’s attention to detail in portraying his refined taste in whiskey.

What does Eagle Rare compare to?

Eagle Rare is often compared to other premium bourbons within its category, such as Buffalo Trace, due to its shared heritage from the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Some enthusiasts also draw parallels with well-known wheated bourbons like Pappy Van Winkle, as Eagle Rare incorporates corn, rye, and barley in its mash bill, offering a distinct flavor profile that sets it apart within the bourbon landscape.

What type of bourbon is Eagle Rare?

Eagle Rare is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon, adhering to the strict regulations set forth by the U.S. government for this classification.

As a straight bourbon, Eagle Rare is aged for a minimum of four years in new charred oak barrels and contains a mash bill featuring predominantly corn, alongside a combination of rye and barley.

Is Eagle Rare still made?

As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, Eagle Rare is still actively produced by Buffalo Trace Distillery. However, availability may vary due to factors like production schedules, distribution, and demand.

For the most current information, it is recommended to check with local retailers or the distillery directly.

Why do people like Eagle Rare?

People appreciate Eagle Rare for various reasons, including its well-balanced and smooth flavor profile. The bourbon is known for its rich combination of caramel, vanilla, and fruit notes, providing a complex and enjoyable sipping experience.

Additionally, its affordability compared to some other premium bourbons makes it an accessible and attractive option for both seasoned whiskey enthusiasts and those exploring the world of bourbon.

What makes bourbon expensive?

Several factors contribute to the expense of bourbon, with quality and production processes playing significant roles. The use of high-quality grains, specific yeast strains, and well-maintained equipment can increase production costs. Additionally, the aging process in new charred oak barrels contributes to both the flavor development and the cost of production.

Limited releases, rarity, and unique aging conditions can also drive up the price. Furthermore, packaging, branding, and marketing efforts can add to the overall cost of a bourbon.

As consumer demand for premium and aged spirits continues to grow, distilleries may invest more in these aspects, further influencing the price of bourbon in the market.

Final Verdict: Eagle Rare 17 Year Bourbon Review

ER 2022 17-Year-Old Bourbon is consistent in its flavor profile.

However, it’s getting hotter every release along the complexity, which is good but somewhat overwhelming at some point. 

Overall, it’s a great whiskey [2], which we recommend enjoying with a large ice cube instead of sipping it neat to mellow the heat, alcohol, and intensity.  

Given the bold flavors, E. Rare 17-Year-Old is a great base for cocktails, especially when mixed with ginger ale and club soda. 

However, with its high price point and rarity, we might opt for better alternatives that are much more accessible and affordable. 

References:

  1. Taste Test: Heaven Hill’s New Ultra-Aged Bourbon Gives Pappy a Run for Its Money
  2. Whiskey
Lumint ad Side Bar
Flex Ad Side Bar