Okay, so here’s the deal. Instead of writing a yearly, tired, and obligatory “Holiday Whiskey Buying Guide” like every other blogger does, I would like to instead focus my considerably charming efforts in writing something like “The Top Ten Horrible, Despicable, Illegal Things I Would Do To A Man In Order To Get The Buffalo Trace Antique Collection.” But perhaps this will be for next year, as Christmas has passed and I don’t want to frighten any of you. But I do have stories. Terrifying stories.
While the Pappy brand is currently getting all the press, yet suspiciously isn’t exactly considered the greatest of all available bourbons, there stands alone at the top George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon, a frequent all-time favorite. Quite the subjective statement, I know, but it at least stands at the top of our club’s bourbon rankings. Whatever that means to you, have at it. To the gleeful delight of the whiskey enthusiast, Buffalo Trace provides an incredible amount of detail petrtaining to the process and details of the makeup of Stagg, and those details are as follows:
Named after one of the original proprietors of Buffalo Trace Distillery, Stagg was introduced in 2002 as the flagship bottling of the Antique Collection, released every fall. One of Stagg’s main trademarks are the incredible ABVs released in previous years, some exceeding 140 proof. The 2013 release clocks in at 128.2 proof, still at the peak of most ABVs on the shelf. The mash bill is comprised of corn, rye as the flavor grain and the standard malted barley for the enzymes. This 157 barrel batch is aged for 15 years and 11 months in #4 char level casks with no chill filtration. While this release is a year old at the time of this writing, don’t fret, you will get the big picture of what a Stagg bottle brings. Let’s get to it.
SWC Group Review
Nose- Pretty terrible. Terribly amazing, that is. Fudge, vanilla, deep oak. Butterscotch, caramel. Cherries, dark fruits. Red apples, raisins. Spices of clove and cinnamon. Tobacco. Superb balance and complexity.
Taste – Fruit explosion, medium bodied. Sweet tobacco. Big. Crème brulee crust. Largely a repeat of the nose.
Finish- Christmas cheer. Lingering, long, satisfying. Char, menthol, chocolate. Wonderfully expressed.
Comment- Best bourbon any of us has tried. All categories excel. Incredible whiskey, not just a great bourbon. World class. We hope your lips find a glass with this whiskey in it.
SWC Rating – 95/100
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section below.
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