photo credit: Buffalo Trace Distillery


Proof: 80
Age: 3 Year Old
Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery
Master Distiller: Harlen Wheatley
Season: Fall
Price: $20.99 Per Bottle

Its no secret that I am obsessed with love Buffalo Trace, but when I tried Ancient Age I questioned my palate. Could Buffalo Trace have produced this? The title drew me in: I like older whiskeys that follow traditional recipes with old mash bills. How bad could it be?


It was a cool summer night when I sat out on the patio to try this whiskey. Not sure if that impacted the nose, but I picked up a mild, sweet fragrance typical of bourbon but not remarkable. The presence of ethyl was evident on the nose, and I picked up high traces of ash (which I dont like).

Swirl. Sip.

The first sip was cinnamon off the bat, with very little burn on the tongue. Very appropriate for fall. Not surprising since this particular whiskey is the lowest possible proof that a bourbon could muster. Indeed, Ancient Age is a bourbon that should be sipped lightly; once I took a full mouth and gave it a Kentucky chew, I was nearly overwhelmed by the alcohol taste and the bitterness of the char.

While the burn was non-existent on the tongue, the bitterness in the back of my throat and in the aftertaste was unmistakable. I’m left missing the nice, sweet aftertaste that is present with most whiskeys. Perhaps I am spoiled, but the more I sip Ancient Age, the less I like it.



Buffalo Trace has consistently produced great whiskey, but this is not one of them. I would appreciate Ancient Age more in an Old Fashioned or perhaps in a Manhattan where the spice notes of the whiskey can be better expressed and appreciated. I give Ancient Age a C+.

And the C+ is considering how cheap this whiskey is (as low as $7 per fifth in my area). This ain’t a bourbon taster’s bourbon. This is a well whiskey or mixer at best. I know there is Ancient Age 10 and the (soon to be extinct) Ancient Ancient Age on the market, and I sincerely hope that those two are better than this average attempt at whiskey.  Keep this whiskey stocked in your home bar so you don’t have to give out the good stuff, and get it delivered right to your door.

So what do you think? Have you tried Ancient Age? How does that compare to Ancient Age 10 or Ancient Ancient Age? Vote using the stars or leave a comment below.

3.2 (64.44%) 9 votes

P.S. – Buffalo Trace’s distillery is located at 1001 Wilkinson Blvd. in Frankfort, Kentucky. You can give them a call at (502) 696-5926 for tour hours and rates. Tell them that Bourbon of the Day sent you!

2018-07-25T04:44:26+00:00March 19th, 2018|BEST BOURBON REVIEWS, BOURBON REVIEW, C RATED BOURBONS|14 Comments


  1. Eugene Poole May 31, 2014 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    What bourbons would you recommend for $40. or less per 1.75 liter bottle?

    • Ben August 13, 2016 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      If you can find Evan Williams Bottled in Bond in your area it is a definite winner. A 1.75 goes for about $27 in my area.

  2. iBaconi June 3, 2014 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    One of the most surprising Bourbons I’ve run across is the Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Same price neighborhood as Ancient Age but marvelously superior. It has grown to become the top seller in my shop. My favorite Bourbon (at the moment), also in the $40. or less, is Elijah Craig Small Batch, which is absolutely magnificent! EC’s nose is above any and the finish a sweet, toasty oak, explosion. A truly magnificent experience!

  3. Steen May 27, 2016 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    My family has enjoyed AA for decades! We love it! All of these negative comments are dead wrong!!

  4. Adam June 24, 2016 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    It’s a ten bucks a bottle bourbon. Anyone expecting a complicated, fine bourbon has unrealistic expectations. What Ancient Age is good for is mixing up a pitcher of whiskey sour for friends on a hot summer’s evening. Grill some steaks, bake a few potatoes and serve ice cold Ancient Age whiskey sours for dessert. Save your Pappy Van Winkle’s for sippin’.

  5. PA Lex June 24, 2016 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Ancient Age.
    I purchased this whiskey because of positive reviews saying it was surprisingly good for the price.
    The alcohol taste is big, more like Isopropyl/Ethyl.
    Ash & cinnamon flavors are dead on.
    This unpleasant combination, left me wanting no more-
    …Buffalo Trace shame on you.
    I wish I could have been more diplomatic but my love of good bourbon at any price wouldn’t allow it. Cheers 🙂

  6. Ben August 13, 2016 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    This is, without a doubt, the worst bourbon I’ve had to date. Nothing on the nose. Nothing on the palate but a mild sweetness soon overwhelmed by bitter, acrid char. A finish that vaguely reminds you of the taste left in your mouth several minutes after rinsing with Listerine (the original old gold stuff, not the new fangled blue or green). If you must dip this low on the bourbon ladder better options for the same or less money include Benchmark (also from BT), Heaven Hills Old Style, or Henry McKenna.

    • Tam Pham comedy January 11, 2018 at 5:16 pm - Reply

      Why people respect heaven hill, I’ll never understand. The distillery is historic sure, but their base level whiskey mine as well be gold vodka. It is by no means better than AA and is a marker for how bad a bars well option is. I’ll have to try the others you mentioned, surprisingly I’ve never even heard of them and I’m a bartender. AA IS ABSOLUTELY BETTER THAN HH

  7. David Daniel Wheeler February 13, 2017 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    All I can say is that, for the price, this bourbon has a much better taste than some costing twice as much. The flavor is consistent and smooth. The higher proof Ancient Ancient Age is even better for a nominally higher price. It’s my bourbon of choice.

  8. Spanky February 15, 2017 at 2:15 am - Reply

    Wonderful chocolate upfront with a velvety mouthful that lures you in for another sip. Perfect for any occasion as it is truly a gem. It finishes with a vanilla sugar cookie and toasted oak. Absolutely A+ bourbon.

  9. Great Scott February 15, 2017 at 3:53 am - Reply

    It’s not good. Use it as a mixer… at best

  10. Alex September 11, 2017 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    I was at my mother in-laws lake house rummaging through the liquor cabinet. Way in the back ,covered in dust, I found a bottle of Ancient Age 8 purchased sometime in the 1970’s. I don’t know what this whiskey tastes like now but aged 50 years it still mixes good with cola.

  11. Paul Swartz February 28, 2018 at 1:27 am - Reply

    For the price not a bad bourbon whiskey at all. I drink A A straight with no mix and enjoy it very much.

  12. JOHN L. LOPEZ December 11, 2018 at 1:17 am - Reply

    I have been drinking Ancient Age bourbon since 1964,and yes it probably is a mixer bourbon, I am NOT a connasour, however there is no accounting for taste,nor the lack thereof.
    That is why Crayons are in a box full of colors.
    It has withstood the test
    of time with ME.
    CHEERS! to ALL

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