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Antique Collection American whiskeys UK-bound

Admirers of high-end American whiskeys will have access to 2014’s annual allocation of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection as of mid-October, according to distributor Hi-Spirits.

The five-strong collection of premium bourbon and rye whiskies is presented as ever in tall, slender wine bottle-style packaging with long necks and heavy bases. Along with minimalistic decoration featuring a single lower label detailing age, alcoholic strength and bottling dates, the presentation emphasises the premium qualities of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, clearly distinguishing it from the squat bottle shapes typically associated with the category.

Available through Hi-Spirits, the Antique Collection whiskeys represent a selection of the finest spirits produced at the historic Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky. The five 2014 Antique Collection whiskeys are:  


George T. Stagg: The 2013 release of this uncut and unfiltered bourbon received the Chairman’s Trophy at the 2014 Ultimate Spirits Challenge in New York. The 2014 allocation has been slightly increased, benefiting from increased distillation that began in 1997

William Larue Weller: The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon was given a 95 rating by Whisky Advocate Magazine last year.  The 2014 offering was distilled in the spring of 2002 and at 70.1% proof is the strongest Weller release ever

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye: Uncut and unfiltered, the 2013 edition was named the World’s Best Rye Whiskey at the 2014 Whisky Magazine World Whiskies Awards. This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2008

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old: The previous edition of this bourbon was awarded a Silver Outstanding medal at the 2013 International Wine and Spirits Competition in the UK

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old: The 2013 Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old release was awarded a Gold medal at the 2014 World Whiskies Awards


The latest Buffalo Trace Antique Collection release comes as sales of American whiskey continue to boom. Nielsen data shows that the category typically appeals to younger consumers compared to Scotch, with growth driven by premium brands.

Nielsen figures show off-trade sales of American whiskey grew 15.3% in the year to 26 April 2014, while CGA Peach data shows on-trade sales up 4.2% in the year to 19 April 2014.         

Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, says: “There is always high demand for our limited UK allocation of the Antique Collection, and we expect that to be higher than ever for the 2014 release after another year of category growth for American whiskey.”

Recommended retail prices for the Antique Collection are expected to be in the range of £120 to £140.

16 September 2014 - David Longfield