Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream: The Ultimate Bottle Guide

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream bottle
Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream bottle - Kenny Jarvis/Static Media

Buffalo Trace is a name known for producing high-quality bourbon. However, in recent years, the distillery has also expanded its repertoire to include a wide range of other beverages. Among them is Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream, a unique twist on the usual whiskey experience. In this bottle guide, we'll delve into everything you need to know about this drink. I'll not only examine its tasting notes closely, but also take a broader look at the drink to see how it compares against a few famous rivals.

For anyone familiar with whiskey cream liqueurs, Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream will provide an enjoyable tasting experience. With a rich vanilla and toffee flavor complemented by a creamy texture, this drink is ideal for those with a sweet tooth. The blend of flavors makes it a bottle worth trying, and I had the pleasure of doing just that. Having tasted this bourbon cream and other whiskey liqueurs, I feel well-placed to give an accurate overview of just how good Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream is. Join us as we delve into the nuances of this drink, and see if it's something you should consider getting your hands on.

Read more: The 27 Best Bourbon Brands, Ranked

History Of Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream

Close up of Bourbon Cream
Close up of Bourbon Cream - Kenny Jarvis/Static Media

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream is a product crafted by the esteemed Buffalo Trace Distillery. Whiskey has been produced on its grounds since 1775, but Buffalo Cream is a much more recent innovation. First released in 2016, it has become a popular addition to the world of cream liqueurs. Initially known as the O.F.C. Distillery, and later the George T. Stagg Distillery, it adopted its current name in 1999. This moniker derives from the paths that wild buffalo traced across the landscape, which early settlers used to navigate their way across Kentucky.

The distillery has become synonymous with quality and tradition, and Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream is just one of its many creations. While not much information is released about its production process, it is known that the distillery's Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a key ingredient. The liqueur was the brainchild of master distiller Drew Mayfield, who aimed to offer consumers an alternative to the whiskey the distillery produces. With the introduction of its bourbon cream, Buffalo Trace sought to compete with well-known brands such as Bailey's Irish Cream. The distillery continues to craft a wide variety of beverages, but with the success of its Bourbon Cream, it appears this drink will remain a significant part of its lineup for years to come.

What Is Cream Liqueur?

Bourbon Cream bottle on grass
Bourbon Cream bottle on grass - Kenny Jarvis/Static Media

By now, you might be curious about what exactly a cream liqueur is. The first thing to understand is that it can be made with any type of distilled spirit. For Buffalo Trace's offering, bourbon is used, but other spirits commonly employed include whiskey, brandy, and rum. To this spirit, a sweetener and cream flavoring are added. One of the most distinguishing features of cream liqueurs is their velvety consistency, which stems from the natural texture of the cream and often perfectly counterbalances the warmth from the base spirit. In the case of Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream, this results in a harmonious blend of flavors.

For those who enjoy cream liqueurs, sampling varieties made with different spirits can reveal how each contributes its unique character to the final product. For instance, rum-based liqueurs tend to be sweeter and mellower than those made with whiskey, while brandy imparts a smooth and sophisticated touch to the liqueur. The appeal of cream liqueurs lies in their versatility and sense of luxury. Their smooth, creamy texture is attractive to a broad audience, and is often favored by individuals who may not typically enjoy the base spirit, as its strong flavor is mellowed by the lower proof and additional ingredients.

What Does Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream Taste Like?

Bourbon Cream in glass
Bourbon Cream in glass - Kenny Jarvis/Static Media

The crucial questions that need answering are: What does this bourbon cream taste like, and is it any good? If you're a fan of creamy liqueurs, then there's good news. Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream offers a fascinating blend of flavors that create an elegant tasting experience. On the nose, you'll be greeted with rich cream, and only a hint of the alcoholic content inside. However, it's the flavor that truly impresses, hitting all the right notes.

Upon the first sip, you're met with the bourbon's warmth, contrasted by the cream's freshness. After a brief moment, a tidal wave of butterscotch and vanilla hits your taste buds. If you enjoy those flavors, you'll find this delightful. If you don't have a sweet tooth, it might be a bit much for you. More subtle flavors, like cinnamon and chocolate, give the drink a respectable depth.

The burst of alcohol on the first sip quickly subsides, making this a good option for those who may not be big whiskey enthusiasts. Perhaps the most impressive aspect is the finish. It's smooth, with no harshness lingering from the alcohol content. As a bourbon lover, I almost wish there was more of a kick. However, that's not what this drink is about. Overall, it's an excellent bourbon cream that will likely be much loved by anyone who enjoys these types of liqueurs.

How Is Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream Made?

Bourbon Cream bottle
Bourbon Cream bottle - Kenny Jarvis/Static Media

The creation of this bourbon cream is a blend of craftsmanship and science, resulting in a superbly blended liqueur. While we've discussed what a cream liqueur is, the specifics of their production are more complex than merely mixing cream and alcohol. The initial step involves selecting the alcohol, and for this product, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon is chosen. The next step is sourcing the cream, essential for providing the liqueur's sumptuous freshness and texture.

On the scientific front, emulsifiers like caseinate are added to the cream before the homogenization process. Emulsifiers enable the cream to mix seamlessly with the alcohol, and homogenization — typically done at around 130 degrees Fahrenheit — ensures a smooth blend. Without this process, the cream and bourbon would likely separate in the bottle. For those attempting to make their whiskey cream at home, this step isn't necessary if the liqueur is consumed within a few weeks. Flavorings are then introduced, and the alcohol can be added either before or after homogenization. Finally, the liqueur is bottled, ready to be savored by enthusiasts around the world.

How To Drink Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream

Bourbon Cream bottle with glasses
Bourbon Cream bottle with glasses - Kenny Jarvis/Static Media

Not many drinks can be enjoyed in as many ways as this bourbon cream. It's a versatile beverage, and discovering your favorite way to sip it can be fun. Personally, I loved enjoying it neat. Slow sipping allows you to fully appreciate the flavors, letting the butterscotch and vanilla notes delight your taste buds. Of course, ice can be added for those who prefer their drink a bit cooler. On the contrary, this bourbon cream also excels when mixed into hot coffee. I typically take my coffee with milk and sweetener, but with this liqueur added, I didn't need either. Even before tasting, the aromas of coffee and vanilla merge, creating a lovely fragrance to enjoy before each sip.

The texture blends well with coffee, offering a more indulgent experience than just adding milk. The vanilla flavor is quite prominent, and the warmth of the bourbon comes through. However, there are many more ways to enjoy this drink. It can enhance classic cocktails like a white Russian, or be mixed into milkshakes. Buffalo Trace has even developed a few recipes you can try. Another fantastic use is in a bourbon cream root beer float, perfect for sunny days. The possibilities are endless, with many drink creations benefiting from its rich flavor.

It Pairs Perfectly With Ice Cream

Bourbon Cream over ice cream
Bourbon Cream over ice cream - Kenny Jarvis/Static Media

Are you looking for a bit more excitement from your favorite ice cream? If so, pouring some of this drink over your dessert is a match made in heaven. It's easy to make mistakes when creating your own boozy ice cream, but adding Bourbon Cream to this famous dessert couldn't be simpler. All you need to do is pour a small amount over the top. It works well with vanilla ice cream, as the bourbon gives it a rich kick, while the cream enhances the dessert's texture, making it even smoother.

An unexpected result was that the whiskey was much more noticeable when mixed with the ice cream compared to being consumed straight. I'm sure there's a scientific reason for that, but I couldn't find one! I would say that if you're not a whiskey person, you might not be a fan. I found it dangerously delicious, and it elevated the ice cream to new heights. The simplicity of the concoction means I'll be happily trying this again. Along with being a late-night treat, it could also serve as an after-dinner dessert at a dinner party or before a night out.

Is Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream Expensive?

Bourbon Cream bottle with glass
Bourbon Cream bottle with glass - Kenny Jarvis/Static Media

Most liqueurs are reasonably priced, and the same can be said for Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream. Its average cost is just over $25, which is comparable to many of its competitors. Prices will vary, but Bourbon Cream typically falls within the affordable range when compared to more premium spirits. One contributing factor to be aware of is the lower alcohol content. Those not familiar with liqueurs might be surprised to learn they usually have a much lower proof than pure bourbon. In this case, the proof is 30, so keep that in mind when purchasing a bottle.

The lower proof makes it a more approachable drink for those who prefer a milder sipping experience, but it may not be ideal for those seeking a bit more power from their drink. Despite this, I'd still say Bourbon Cream offers good value, as it's a much nicer drink than budget whiskey cream liqueurs. Whether you want this for a special occasion or as an everyday treat, it's not a bottle you'll regret spending your money on.

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream Vs Bailey's Irish Cream

Bailey's Irish Cream bottle
Bailey's Irish Cream bottle - Monticelllo/Getty Images

When it comes to whiskey cream liqueurs, one name still reigns supreme: Bailey's is enjoyed worldwide, but how does it compare to Buffalo Trace's offering? Moreover, how does the influence of bourbon stack up against that of Irish whiskey? Like the Buffalo Trace expression, Bailey's Irish Cream is renowned for its smooth and velvety texture. The tasting notes are largely similar to those of the Bourbon Cream, but there are a few notable differences. First, I found the vanilla flavor to be much more pronounced in the Bourbon Cream, whereas Bailey's presents a more balanced flavor profile without a particular taste dominating the palate.

This is where personal preference comes into play, as I preferred the more dominant flavors of the Bourbon Cream. Additionally, the bourbon imparts a bolder and more robust flavor compared to the more elegant Bailey's. Because of this, whiskey enthusiasts might favor Bourbon Cream. Those who are not keen on whiskey may lean towards the sweeter Bailey's, even though it has a slightly higher proof of 34. What is indisputable is that both are excellent beverages that won't disappoint. It's also worth noting that Bailey's is generally a bit more expensive, with an average price exceeding $30. If you're a fan of Bailey's, I would recommend trying Bourbon Cream. Even if it doesn't become your favorite, you'll likely still enjoy it.

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream Vs Jim Beam Bourbon Cream

Jim Beam Bourbon Cream bottle
Jim Beam Bourbon Cream bottle - Jim Beam / X, formerly known as Twitter

We've seen how it compares to a famous Irish whiskey cream, but how does it fare against another bourbon cream? There are a few on the market, but Buffalo Trace's most notable competitor is Jim Beam Bourbon Cream. The Jim Beam offering provides those familiar notes of caramel and toffee found across its bourbon range, but there is also a hint of spice with this bottle. Even though they share the same proof of 30, the alcohol content in Jim Beam is a bit more pronounced, and not in a good way. You experience a somewhat harsher finish, often associated with inexpensive bourbon.

The impression is that younger bourbon was used in the Jim Beam bottle. Only the distilleries would know if that's true, as it's not stated, but it feels that way. Moreover, the taste of Jim Beam Bourbon Cream is slightly thinner and not as creamy. With similar price points, it seems there is only one winner here. It's important to note that Jim Beam Bourbon Cream isn't a bad drink, far from it, but Buffalo Trace edges out its competitor in nearly every metric. You may have a different opinion, and trying both is worthwhile. However, if you're looking for just one bottle or an alternative to Bailey's, you can't go wrong with Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream.

Buffalo Trace Is A Major Whiskey Producer

Bourbon Cream bottle and glass
Bourbon Cream bottle and glass - Kenny Jarvis/Static Media

For those not well-acquainted with whiskey, it wouldn't be surprising if you thought this distillery only produced its Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Bourbon Cream. In reality, Buffalo Trace is a major whiskey producer responsible for an array of brilliant brands. As a titan in the American whiskey world, the brand boasts a legacy spanning over two centuries. Situated in Frankfort, Kentucky, it is the oldest continuously operating distillery in the United States.

Beyond the products bearing the Buffalo Trace name, the distillery crafts a diverse selection of beloved bourbon labels, including Eagle Rare, Blanton's, and Pappy Van Winkle, among others. Additionally, the distillery produces rye whiskey, as well as vodka and soda. Each brand features a distinct flavor profile, and the distillery enjoys a significant international presence, with some of its offerings being exclusively sold abroad. Overcoming prohibition, world wars, and a downturn in bourbon popularity, Buffalo Trace has risen as a whiskey standard-bearer. Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to beverages emanating from this fabled American institution.

Be Mindful With Bourbon Cream

Bourbon Cream bottle laid down
Bourbon Cream bottle laid down - Kenny Jarvis/Static Media

While bourbon cream offers a twist on traditional bourbon, it's important to understand some key differences between them. Unless you're storing it long-term, there are very few rules about where to keep your whiskey. However, Bourbon Cream contains milk, which leads to a few important considerations. The first is that the bottle needs to be refrigerated after opening to remain fresh. You don't need to consume it quickly, though, as it will stay fine for many months post-opening. Of course, this cream-based drink will taste much nicer chilled, so it's best to keep it in the fridge anyway.

The two other points about its milk content are straightforward. Unlike regular bourbon, which is both gluten-free and vegan-friendly, bourbon cream contains dairy. This means it's not suitable for anyone lactose intolerant, or following a vegan lifestyle. Because of this, be mindful of your own dietary restrictions, and those of anyone to whom you might offer the drink. Bourbon cream offers a more approachable alternative to high-strength spirits, but remember, it's not pure bourbon. If you keep that in mind and store it chilled, then you'll get to enjoy a beautiful drink however you prefer it.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.