Uniqueness Hancock’s President’s Reserve stands out


Uniqueness Hancock’s President’s Reserve stands out

Hancock’s President’s Reserve is part of Buffalo Trace Distillery's lineup of single barrel bourbons, reportedly crafted using their high rye mashbill. Sazerac recounts the history behind this bourbon, linking it to the Leestown settlement founded in 1775 by Willis and Hancock Lee along the Kentucky River, a bustling hub for tobacco, hemp, and whiskey. This bourbon pays homage to the pioneering spirit of Hancock Lee.


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Aroma The nose presents notes of hay and light oak, with a swirl revealing hints of vanilla, cinnamon, and a touch of peach, along with a surprising undertone of ethanol despite its lower proof. It's a decent introduction to the pour, though somewhat forgettable.

Palate Upon tasting, the palate feels notably thin, with prominent cinnamon and sweet vanilla flavors countered by tannic oak and black pepper spice, unusual for a bourbon below 90 proof.

Finish The finish is dominated by dry oak and leather mingling with peppercorn spice. Fleeting notes of vanilla and butterscotch appear briefly before the dryness takes over. Fortunately, the finish is short, avoiding becoming overly dry.

Uniqueness Hancock’s President’s Reserve stands out as a perplexing offering from Buffalo Trace Distillery. Despite the distillery's track record of acclaimed releases, this bourbon remains surprisingly under-discussed. Notably absent from Buffalo Trace's official website, one must turn to a Sazerac subsidiary for its backstory.

The bottle design is unremarkable, likely overlooked by unfamiliar eyes. Only a close inspection of the fine print reveals its Buffalo Trace origin. It joins a range of Buffalo Trace mashbill #2 single barrel bourbons, yet stands out as the lowest proof option available domestically.

These unconventional aspects—low proof, unremarkable branding, and limited backstory—combine to make Hancock’s President’s Reserve a distinctive, albeit not for the reasons one might expect from a Buffalo Trace single barrel bourbon.