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Review: Ancient Ancient Age 10 Year Bourbon

The Ancient Age (AA) brand has been around for more than 60+ years. Today Buffalo Trace distillery distills, ages, and bottles AA in a couple of different bourbon offerings. The standard entry Ancient Age is around 3 years old, the Ancient Age 10 Star is a 6 year old, and their oldest is the 10 year old Ancient Ancient Age (AAA). The subject of this review is the later.

First off this is distilled from the Buffalo Trace’s Mash Bill #2, which is a higher rye version of the standard entry #1 Mash Bill, used to make the flagship bourbon, Eagle Rare, George T. Stagg, etc. Mash #2 does share such company as Blanton’s, Rock Hill Farm, Elmer T. Lee, and others. Not bad for a bourbon that costs well under $20.00. The price is right but does it taste “budget”?

Ancient Ancient Age 10 Year Bourbon, 43% abv (86 Proof), $18/bottle

Color: Medium Amber/Copper

Nose: Well ripened peach, caramel apple, and bright orange are backed by gentle baking spices, graham cracker, vanilla, flint, a whisper of fragrant oak and wood perfume. Gorgeous!

Palate: Orchard fruit mingles with caramel, vanilla and toffee only briefly before the spice takes hold (cinnamon and clove, anise, bitter orange rind, and a very healthy punch of rye). For an 86 proof bourbon this is also quite concentrated in flavor with outstanding balance of spice and sweetness.

Finish: Elegant yet definitely in the moderately long category. Toffee, citrus rind bitterness, and lingering (but gentle) rye “bite”.

Overall: To put it succinctly, this is a real “find”. The nose hints at something quite sweet and fruity, but the palate reaffirms the spicier side of the higher rye mash bill. There is little not to love with Ancient Ancient Age 10 Year Bourbon. For under $20 this is a whiskey that stands up well to its higher priced “cousin’s” (mentioned above) without trade off. This one will absolutely be in consideration for my “Value Pick of the Year”. If you can find it – grab it! Quick note – don’t be fooled by the “10 Star” version. This one says “Full Ten (10) Years Old” on the label.

Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 9.1 (Superb/Outstanding)

64 Comments

  1. Nick says:

    What a shame.

  2. Paul says:

    Yep, sure is.

  3. Southron says:

    You gentlemen are correct. I received two emails from Buffalo Trace explaining the product had been discontinued. I have been trying to locate a few bottles remaining on shelves. If that makes me a whiskey hoarder….. so be it!

  4. Josh says:

    Glad that I was able to grab 20 of the liter bottles recently as I heard a rumor that this was going to happen.

  5. Josh says:

    I just confirmed the fears for myself. They will continue to make the 10 Star, they said. One has to suspect that this means that the lots that made up the 10 Year Old, which are supposedly lots that didn’t make the cut for Blanton’s, will now be going into BT’s upper range whiskeys? I know that Buffalo Trace recently released a statement that people should expect shortages of their whiskeys in the near future. So maybe the AAA 10 Year stuff is now going into the other #2 mashbill brands like Blanton’s, Elmet T. Lee, Rock Hill Farms, Hancock President’s Reserve? Makes sense from a business and profit standpoint but sad to see happen anyway.

  6. Adair says:

    Oh, no! This is terrible news. Frankly, the whole AAA and AA line is superior in my view to the other Buffalo Trace bourbons. This is a crying shame.

  7. Jordan says:

    I think the rumor of AAA’s demise has been greatly exaggerated. Prices have gone up, but I still consistently see handles on the shelf around Louisville.

  8. Southron says:

    Jordan,
    Have only been able to locate a few 1.75 liters here in my neck of the woods. Hope you’re right though. I did threaten them with a call to a voodoo priestess I happen to know down in Louisiana! Maybe that helped!

  9. Jordan says:

    Granted, I’m in Louisville, so maybe this will be the last spring to run dry. As of today, I still see it on the shelves in ready supply in handles. I haven’t seen the smaller offerings (750 or L) in quite some time. Plus, BT is still listing it on the website, whereas the Old Charter 10 has been completely removed. One rumor I heard from the locals is that moving forward, you’ll only be able to find handles, which is fine with me.

  10. janie says:

    Dag. . My bourbon balls will not taste right without triple A..I hope I can find some. ..

  11. tom says:

    Picked up the 1.75 at party source in Bellevue Ky.
    Limit 1. I think they are already out of stock there . D.E.P.s got in 2 cases of Rock Hill was able to get 1 bottle.

  12. Dave from Michigan says:

    AAA 10Yr. is one of mine and my friends favorite bourbons. I’ve commented on this thread before talking about it. Recently, while driving through Kentucky, my buddy stopped off at the Liquor Barn in Louisville to grab some of this amazing stuff for us. He couldn’t find any on the shelves. As troubling as that was, what he heard next was even more disturbing. The clerk there told him that Buffalo Trace may be discontinuing this brand and as the local buyer can’t get a hold of it . Is there any truth to this? If anyone knows anything, please fill us in. Thanks!

  13. Dave from Michigan says:

    Oops. I guess I should have read the recent threads before posting. Anyway, any further info would be appreciated.

  14. Josh says:

    I rounded up all of this that I could find last summer. Also Elmer T. Lee. When was the last time anybody saw any of that on shelves? Scary out there.