George T Stagg
Distiller: Buffalo Trace
What does the distiller say: “Straight out of the barrel, uncut and unfiltered, the taste is powerful, flavorful and intense. Open it up with a few drops of water, sit back and ponder the wonders of the universe.”
Age: 15 Years (or so we’ve been told)
Color: ( 92 )
Deep, burnt orange
Nose: ( 91 / 100 )
Nutty, like roasted pecans, with vanilla and butterscotch
Taste: ( 91 / 100 )
The front reveals mild oak with elements of sweet vanilla and caramel. Heat rises on the mid-palate carrying the sweet elements to the roof of the mouth where they linger into the finish.
Finish: ( 90 / 100 )
Heat fades a little as the savory notes are further revealed in a finish of moderate duration.
Overall Rating: ( 91 / 100 ) Buy (Stagg is still Stagg!)
The nose is worthy of the Stagg moniker, but we would have liked a longer duration on the finish. The front palate flavors are worthy of the Antique Collection series, but the mid-palate is the star as those sweeter elements collect at the roof of the mouth, a truly unique experience. Overall, much like its proof, the 2013 George T. Stagg is a great whiskey, but falls just short of the epic 2012 bottling.
Distiller: Buffalo Trace
What does the distiller say:
Uncut and unfiltered, this robust bourbon whiskey ages for nearly a decade and boasts the bold character that is reminiscent of [George T. Stagg] himself.
Age: 8 Years
Color: Very Deep Amber
Floral with strong overtones of sweet vanilla. The high proof does not translate to overpowering alcohol as might be expected. A few drops of water adds to the sweetness.
Neat – Bold up front, as the proof would suggest, followed by caramel and a lot of vanilla mixing on the mid-palate. The mouth feel was noticeably thin and showed its relative youth just a little.
With Water – A few drops of water and the flavor opened up a little providing slightly more sweetness and depth of flavor.
Neat – The finish was mild and, as anticipated by the thin mouth feel, faded more quickly than we like.
With Water – The finish changed dramatically, actually adding to the duration, a welcome surprise.
Overall Rating: 89/100 (Recommended)
Recommended, especially if you like the higher proof bourbons. It has been produced as a more accessible version of the older and nearly unattainable George T. Stagg. At roughly $50 retail, we find this bourbon to perform its role admirably.
As the tournament comes to a head, we thought it was appropriate to repost our ‘Sweet 16 of American Whiskey‘. We know there are a great many fine bourbons that did not make this list, and we look forward to hearing your views on the ones that did and/or did not make it… and remember:
“The Best Bourbon is the One You Enjoy” – The Bourbon Guys