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George T Stagg bottled 2013

Stagg The Lesser

0 989

@VictorReview by @Victor

13th Nov 2013

0

  • Nose
    24
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    21
  • Balance
    21
  • Overall
    89

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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

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9 comments

@WhiskyBee
WhiskyBee commented

@Victor - Thanks for a fine and honest review. Still a "some day" whiskey for me, but your reviews always help me taste things in my mind. Sounds like I'd prefer to taste another year, however.

I must have checked about 40 or 50 online sources for a Stagg in the past week. Every single one of them is sold out, even the ones selling it for $350 (and, yes, that's the 2013 release).

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

One small correction: the official age of the youngest whiskey in the 2013 release of George T Stagg is 15 years, 11 months.

@WhiskyBee, if your local odds are bad for getting Stagg or certain other allocated whiskeys, your best shot is probably finding and buying some scarce and in demand other bottles and then making trades to get some of the ones you haven't been able to get.

6 years ago 0

@WhiskyBee
WhiskyBee commented

@Victor - Hadn't considered that. Thanks for the advice.

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@WhiskyBee, ya gotta work it. The precious goods are very maldistributed. Helping one another get something we each want is the basis of trade. You have some hot bottles available to you that you already know about, like those Willetts at Binny's. Willett Family Estate Private Barrel bourbons and ryes are scarce and desirable. Decent barter goods. Really any whisky that you know is scarce and in demand, whether or not it is something you want to drink yourself.

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Open 20 months this 2013 George T Stagg has really come into its own. Right now I score this same bottle 24-24-23-23 = 94 points. The wood is still strongly tannic, but the whiskey has relaxed a lot and harmonises much better. If you have the opportunity to acquire some 2013 George T. Stagg, I would suggest you buy it, but be prepared to give it a lot of air.

4 years ago 0

broadwayblue commented

I finally found a bottle in the wild. Saw a Stagg on the shelf behind the register and did a double take. I asked the clerk how much they were asking for it...he scanned it in and the register displayed $489.99. Ouch. I left empty handed, although I did think about it for a minute.

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@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.

4 years ago 0

broadwayblue commented

@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.

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@broadwayblue, if you see a bottle of 2010 release George T. Stagg, up your price to $ 300 for a bottle. I wouldn't back off one point from the 98 points at which I reviewed that one.

Otherwise, let me know when you are in my neighborhood, and you can taste a bunch of BTAC with me.

4 years ago 0

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