Last Updated on December 29, 2022 by Lydia Martin
Eagle Rare is a straight bourbon whiskey matured for at least a decade before being bottled at 90 proof. Its lofty, distinctive taste has garnered gold medals at various spirits competitions.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the bourbon: its unique tasting notes, distillation process, price, and everything that makes it so rare (pun intended).
Eagle Rare Bourbon & Its History
Eagle Rare was first introduced to the public in 1975 by the now-defunct Seagram (a conglomerate of distilled spirits). The brand, created by master distiller Charles L. Beam, is now manufactured by Buffalo Trace, alongside other Buffalo Trace products like E.H. Taylor, Blanton’s, and the titular bourbon.
Apart from the 10 Year, they also sell rare 17-year-old bottles as part of Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection, in production since 2000. This variant was previously bottled at 90 proof, but since 2018, they have been released at 101 proof.
Did You Know?
The Buffalo Trace Distillery has never fully disclosed the brand’s mash bill, aside from it belonging to their proprietary Mashbill # 1 (made from barley, corn, grain, and rye). As a result, Eagle Rare is simplistically sweet, with hints of candied almonds and very rich cocoa.
Its finish is moderately dry, following the lingering sweetness in the nose and palate. We found it reminiscent of fine port wine .
Distillation & Aging Process
This is a small-batch bourbon whiskey. It used to be marketed as a single-barrel, but they dropped that claim in 2005 when they switched from hand bottling to a high-speed automated line, as there is always the chance that different barrels might mix.
Who Makes This Bourbon?
The label is owned by the Sazerac Company and is now produced at the Buffalo Trace Distillery after having sourced whiskey during its initial purchase. Charles L. Beam created it in 1975 under Seagram.
Although Chuck did many different things as a master distiller for the company, he was most famous for creating Eagle Rare, which earned him a spot in the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame in 2010.
- Kentucky Bourbon Festival
- Booker’s Bourbon
- Burning Chair Bourbon
- Stellum Bourbon
- Sam Houston 15-Year Bourbon
What Makes It Expensive
We would consider it a premium bottle at $40-ish per 750 ml. What’s great is that this spirit is aged for a full ten years — the longer aging period ensures a smoother, more well-rounded spirit compared to other bourbons.
Common Eagle Rare Bourbon Prices
|Bottle Type||Size||Alcohol Proof||Average Price|
|Eagle Rare 10 Year Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey||750 ml||90||Around $49.00|
|Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey||750 ml||111||Around $900.00|
|Eagle Rare ‘Double Eagle Very Rare’ 20-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey||750 ml||101||Around $2,000.00|
Compared To Other Bourbons
Eagle Rare is also produced in the Buffalo Trace Distillery, and it is said that it uses the same mash bill that the titular brand does. This label is pleasantly sweet, with brown sugar, toffee, and anise. Light amounts of smoky oak and spicy rye bring a much-needed contrast to all the sweetness.
A 750 ml bottle of Buffalo Trace costs around $47.99 in stores, close to Eagle Rare’s pricing.
Bulleit Bourbon is most famous for its high-rye bourbon whiskey (95 percent in the mash bill), which adds an unmistakable spicy kick to each sip. Its bold flavors explode on your tongue, but once you’ve gotten over the heat, you’ll notice subtle flavors of elegant vanilla, honey, and walnut wood.
You can get a bottle of Bulleit for around $31 in stores, which is cheaper.
Evan Williams is bottled at 86 proof after being aged for four years. Warm vanilla, apples, and peppery spices take center stage in this whiskey, followed by dried herbs and an old leather spice finish.
Evan Williams is about half the price of Eagle Rare’s at around $25 per 750 ml bottle.
Popular Eagle Rare Cocktails
The Gold Baron
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
- 1.5 oz Eagle Rare Bourbon
- 0.5 oz Applejack, Laird’s
- 0.5 tsp Grenadine
- 0.5 tsp cane syrup
- 1 tbsp bitters
Combine all ingredients in a rocks glass with one large ice cube. Serve as is.
Clementine Bourbon Smash
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
- 2 oz Eagle Rare Bourbon
- 2 oz clementine juice
- 2 oz lime juice
- 1 oz orange liqueur (triple sec or Grand Marnier)
- 1 oz maple syrup
- 8 dashes bitters
- 2 clementines
- 4 mint leaves
- Club soda
Peel and cut 1 clementine into wedges and drop inside a cocktail shaker with the mint leaves and muddle until their natural juices have been released. Pour the other liquid ingredients (except club soda) followed with ice, and shake until well-combined.
Strain and pour the mixture into two highball glasses filled halfway with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with clementine wedges.
Is Eagle Rare hard to find?
Yes, Eagle Rare is quite hard to find. As Buffalo Trace markets it as an ultra-premium allocated bourbon, most connoisseurs snatch this bottle up as soon as they see it available.
Its long aging period also makes it an instant crowd-pleaser with great demand. But which bourbons are similar to Eagle Rare?
How often is Eagle Rare released?
Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon is produced throughout the year. It is released to the market as soon as there is availability in supplies (as opposed to when there is a demand).
The brand’s 17-year-old variant, on the other hand, is only released once a year during fall.
Eagle Rare is an incredible ten-year-old bourbon for its price point, considering most bourbons out in the market only meet the two-year-old aging criteria. The drink is smooth yet complex, with notes of caramel and vanilla, complete with an oaky finish. Its flavor profile will work extremely well whether you enjoy your bourbon neat, on the rocks, or in a classic Manhattan.
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.