Buffalo Trace Distillery Mash Bills
A break down of the majority of the Buffalo Trace distillery Bourbons and Ryes by their mash bill
Buffalo Trace uses two primary mash bills. While they do not disclose the exact recipe Bourbonr’s much wiser than I have made educated guesses as to the mash bill percentages. Mash bill # 1 is probably 10% or less and mash bill #2 is somewhere between 10%-12%. Mash bill number two is a more common rye content among Bourbons.
The Wheated Bourbon mash bill is a mystery as well. However, the rye portion (and maybe more) is replaced by wheat. This creates a very different flavor profile than the Rye. I also believe that Wheated Bourbons handle (even need) aging much better than Bourbons that have rye in the mash bill.
Yes, Pappy Van Winkle is now Buffalo Trace and no longer Stitzel-Weller juice. For the 2013 release only the 23 year old is Stitzel-Weller.
Most believe that Buffalo Trace is using their standard wheated mash for Pappy Van Winkle. Buffalo Trace has confirmed that they are in fact the same Mash Bill
The rye mash bill is thought to be 51% rye. Just enough to be legally considered rye whiskey but still enough corn to bring out the familiar taste of Bourbon. These are much different ryes than the currently popular high (some up to 95%) rye whiskies. Also, the current Sazerac 18 may not have the exact same mash as Handy or the Baby Sazerac (rumored to be Medley or Berheim) but they are similar.
The point of this post is to show how much of a difference small factors in aging affect a Bourbons taste. By simply aging in a different store house two Bourbons that entered the barrel with the same mash bill and same proof can exit the barrel as completely different Bourbons in both taste and proof.
Also, try tasting Bourbons from the same mash bill side by side to see if you can pick up on the differences as well as the similarities.