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Why Buffalo Trace’s New Almost-Whiskey Signals a New Era for the Brand (www.gearpatrol.com)

Why Buffalo Trace’s New Almost-Whiskey Signals a New Era for the Brand

The latest in Buffalo Trace Distillery’s annually released Experimental Collection is a baijiu-style spirit made, for the most part, like bourbon. It’s the product of fermented grains and it’s matured for 11 years in white oak barrels (new, charred and toasted). But instead of a corn-based mashbill it makes due with sorghum and peas, and instead of representing further innovation at one of Kentucky’s most beloved distilleries, we might read between the lines: bourbon’s coming for China.

Baijiu is the most popular spirit in the world — largely because it’s the most popular spirit in China, the most populous nation in the world. A day before Buffalo Trace announced the 24th Experimental Collection expression, its parent company, Sazerac, announced it had signed an agreement with Budweiser China to bring “Fireball Whisky and other premium alcoholic offerings from Sazerac such as Goldschlager, Southern Comfort, Seignette, Buffalo Trace and Seagram’s V.O. in the Chinese mainland.”

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Move over, Jim Beam? This bourbon newcomer has a subtle appeal.

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