glencairn-amazonThis truncated review was originally posted as part of the Budget Bourbon Battle Royale. See the original post here.

Ancient Age 90 is a Buffalo Trace-produced product distilled in Frankfort, KY. As you may have guessed, this version of Ancient Age is bottled at 90 proof.  It is made using Buffalo Trace’s Mash Bill #2, the higher rye recipe, which it shares with Blanton’s, Rock Hill Farms, Hancock’s Reserve, and Elmer T. Lee, all top-shelf bourbons in their own regard, plus Ancient Age 80, of course.

Ancient Age 90 Closeup

  • Appearance: Pale, with gold hints. Very clear.
  • Nose: Corn dominates the nose, with slight oak and tobacco on the end.
  • Taste: The tongue is greeted by a slight burn, followed with corn and butterscotch. The sweetness gives way quickly, however, to a medium alcohol burn, some pepper, cinnamon, and oak on the tail end.
  • Finish: Dry, and medium in length, the burn continues for several seconds after the swallow. Pepper and spice mingle throughout.
  • Score: 79/100.


Let’s face it, we’re not looking to uncover the latest Pappy Van Winkle here. We’re looking for solid drinking bourbons at a very low cost. Ancient Age 90 is that, particularly for fans of the Buffalo Trace profile. But it’s still not the best option in its price range, unless you’re looking specifically for Buffalo Trace. Also, there are two older versions of Ancient Age worth considering if you find them in stock- the Ancient Ancient Age 10 year and the Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star, both significantly better than the standard 90 proof version.

But Ancient Age is solid, drinkable, and very affordable.

The scoring system is a standard 100 point system based on 4 categories, taken in order.

  1. Appearance: 15 points
  2. Nose: 25 Points
  3. Palate/Taste: 35 Points
  4. Finish: 25 points
  • 95+        Epic
  • 90-94     Excellent, Good representative of its style
  • 85-89     Solid sipper
  • 80-84     Drinkable, but potentially flawed.
  • 75-79     Low quality, flawed, use as a mixer only
  • <75        Rot Gut, avoid