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George T Stagg bottled 2013

Average score from 3 reviews and 3 ratings 89

George T Stagg bottled 2013

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George T Stagg bottled 2013

This Stagg was distilled in Spring of 1997 and aged in warehouses I,K, and Q. It's one of the weakest Staggs released in years in terms of ABV.

Nose: Oak, pine, coffee, brown sugar, sugar cane, raisins, prunes, dates.

Taste: Big body and weight on this. It's dry and spicy. You get flavors of raisins, the dates, prunes, along with rum, barrel char, anise. However, it's somewhat sour.

Finish: Hard candy. anise, char. The finish is rather creamy and very long.

This Stagg is still a very nice Bourbon but I feel that it's weaker than previous releases. Maybe my expectations are just too high. At any rate, this is a fine pour just not the best of the Antique Collection.


George T. Stagg is almost the only whisk(e)y in the world which can raise eyebrows having its alcohol by volume reduced below 70% ABV. That is because the 2010, 2011, and 2012 releases were all released at above 71% ABV. Even for a Big Flavours Guy like me, 64.1% ABV is certainly an adequately powered beverage, though, truth be told, I consider 68% to be the optimum bottom level ABV for my tastes

George T Stagg is made from Buffalo Trace mash bill # 1, the same as standard Buffalo Trace Bourbon. The rye content is approximately 8%. The 2013 George T Stagg was distilled in spring 1997 and bottled in fall 2013, making it 16 years old

The reviewed bottle has been open for 9 days

Colour: Mahogany

Nose: strong sweet maple is the predominant smell, with floral scents of carnations, roses, and even gardenias. Fine high-pitched spice from rye grain includes cinnamon/cassia and nutmeg. A hint of that 70-something % corn content is perceptible beyond the wood and the rye. Confectioner's sugar. Beautiful nose. Water accentuates the floral elements and merges the flavours

Taste: rich translation of flavours from the nose with the addition of black licorice...and sassafras/root beer. Very rich, lush. Wonderful, except that this wood then starts to bitter, which detracts from an otherwise excellent batch of George T Stagg. Water accentuates the wood bass notes, which in this case means adding bitterness

Finish: intense, flavourful finish, long, but settles in on unacceptable bitter oak, as did the 2013 release of the Stagg Jr Whiskey. Bourbon is never supposed to leave a bitter taste in your mouth. This one does

Balance: this is a decisively lesser whiskey than 2010, 2011, and 2012 George T Stagg, not because of the lower ABV, but because of the lesser quality of the wood used

This is still a damned good bourbon, but a bottling of George T Stagg Bourbon should be, and usually is, better than this

@broadwayblue, yes, $ 489.99 plus tax is a scalper's price in the US, though only $ 50 more expensive than the wine-searcher.com world (secondary market) price. What would I pay for a bottle of Stagg? In other words, what would George T. Stagg be worth to me, relative to the rest of the market available? If I owned no Stagg at all, I think I would probably pay $ 200 for a bottle. Since I own a few bottles of it back from the day when there was more of a chance of getting some, I would probably not pay more than $ 125-150 for a bottle of George T. Stagg. It is true, though, that a bottle of Stagg usually lasts for quite awhile. Since 2010 I've been through about 3 3/4 bottles of Stagg,...one 2010, one 2011, one 2012, and 3/4 of a bottle of 2013.

These ridiculous 'status symbol and collector's' prices make people hate whiskeys which they would like if they cost an amount they could afford. Below $ 125 per bottle any Sazerac Company/Buffalo Trace Distillery Antique Collection whiskey is a wonderful acquisition and an excellent purchase. It is a shame that it is so damned hard now to pick up a bottle of it at all, much less at a decent price of $ 100 or less.

@Victor, yeah, even though I've been trying (unsuccessfully) for several years now, I couldn't justify spending more than about $200 for a bottle. I might be willing to go as high as $250, although I think that's a bit too much. But with plenty of people willing to spend $400 or even $500 I likely won't be able to get my hands on one for quite a while. Perhaps I would have better luck trading for a sample.


This year's GTS was released with a lower abv than last year's, but still clocks in at a respectable 128.2 proof. Still dark and intense looking in the bottle. I can wait no longer. Let's see how it goes down.

It has a great nose, that's for sure. First, I get syrup coming up behind the heat. This evolves into toasted coconut and chess pie (a southern treat).

First sip is spicy, with a slight burn. Next sip, I like to hold in my mouth for a while and slowly swish it around. Nice. Butterscotch. Pralines and peanut brittle. Mouthfeel is rich and thick, like watered down syrup.

Finish is a long, slow burn. It ends with maybe a touch too much bitterness or maybe a slight sour after taste, but that is easily remidied by another quick sip.

When i finish my glass, I am thinking breakfast: Pancakes or french toast drizzled with warm butter and lots of syrup. And bacon. It's a good feeling.

How does this compare with last year's batch? Well, I don't have a side by side, just my notes. It is still a surprisingly sippable high proof devil of a whiskey. I think it falls just a tad short in the finish, but that is just being picky. It is an excellent drink, and I think if you are a fan of GTS you will not be disappointed in this new batch.

Thanks for the review. I have not opened a bottle of the '13 yet, but will with the holiday celebrations coming up. I am looking forward to it.

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