George T. Stagg 2017

George T. Stagg 2017

One of the crowning jewels of Buffalo Trace’s offerings, GTS is that rare intersection of taterism and actual quality. George T. Stagg is a bourbon aged for 15 years. It uses Buffalo Trace’s low rye mashbill #1. It is a part of the sought-after Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, and is usually sold for way too much money. Tracking down a bottle of this in Europe and a country that doesn’t allow the sale of spirits over 60% is not easy, but it can be done. Lets see if it’s worth the trouble.

This review was done blind in a set of 21 blind bourbon (and rye) reviews, tasted in sets of 3 (on different days). None of the whiskies were revealed until all 21 were drunk. More information about this setup in the first review of the series.

1. Old Forester 1920
2. Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2017
3. Four Roses Single Barrel OESK (Brookline Liquor Mart pick)
4. Kentucky Owl Rye (batch 1)
5. Weller Antique 107
6. Rowan's Creek
7. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof #12 (136 proof)
8. Old Forester Statesman
9. Michter's 10yo Bourbon
10. Henry McKenna 10yo BiB
11. Weller 12
12. Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7yo
13. Rhetoric 23
14. George T. Stagg 2017
15. Four Roses Single Barrel OBSV (Loch & Key Pick)
16. Maker's 46
17. Jack Daniels Single Barrel Bottled in Bond
18. Little Book “The Easy” (2017)

Distiller: Buffalo Trace
ABV: 64.6%
Age: 15yo
Setting: Blind in a trio with Rhetoric 23 (#99/2018-12-09) and Four Roses SiB OBSV Loch & Key Pick

Nose: Leathery cherry, coconut and deep red apple, a sweet doughiness spiced with cardamom. Ripped cardboard, dry wood in an antique store, pecan, grapefruit marmalade, a piney funk. That is one enjoyable nose.
Palate: Sweet, drying, powerful cherry coconut punch to the palate of heat. Cherry ripe (an Australian dark chocolate and cherry candybar).
Finish: The heat punch fades into vanilla, cinnamon, and dark chocolate gelato. Drying at the end.
Overall: Like if someone oak aged a cherry ripe. Love the funky complexity, with that coconut doughy note it seems pretty unique to my palate. very hot, but this is obviously barrel proof.
Guess: Probably GTS. It’s outstanding, assertive, complex and I keep finding new notes every time I go back. and I want to be able to drink this all the time.
Rank: 8
Reveal: No surprises here. A great whiskey.