Last Updated on August 22, 2023 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
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.
|Distillery||Buffalo Trace Distillery|
|Classification & Region||Straight Bourbon, Kentucky|
|Mash Bill||Mash Bill #1|
|Average Price||Around $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?
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.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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?
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) 
- 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)
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.
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 , 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.