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Bartenders battle it out in Buffalo Trace competition

Published:  22 August, 2013

Scottish bartenders battled it out last week in a Buffalo Trace Barrel Aged competition to create an original cocktail using the spirit.

The competition, which took place in Edinburgh and coincided with the Edinburgh Festival, saw the bartenders vy for the title of 'Scotland's barrel-ageing master', as well as a trip to Kentucky and a visit to the Buffalo Trace distillery.

The cocktail creations were judged on taste, appearance, technique, knowledge, presentation and saleability, and each of the eight bars taking part had been given a five-litre charred oak barrel of Buffalo Trace two months prior in order to perfect their serves.

Grant Neave of Monteiths, Edinburgh, had re-charred the oak staves inside his barrel; while Scott Ingram of the Blythswood Square Hotel, Glasgow, conditioned his cask using coffee and created a hot cocktail; Gordon Purnell of the Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh had moved his barrel between warm and cool locations to enable the wood to expand and contract, thus extracting more flavour from the wood.

The winner, however, was Kyle Jamieson of the Bon Vivant, with his Kentucky Reviver #113, which used Buffalo Trace aged for 113 hours in a Malbec-conditioned cask, as well as Buffalo Trace White Dog spiced with orange zest, cocchi Americano and lactic acid.

The competition continues as each bar tries to sell as many of their Buffalo Trace cocktail as possible. Customers can vote for their favourite here.