Sunday, 3 November 2013

George T Stagg - Kentucky Straight Bourbon


Name: George T Stagg
Distillery: Buffalo Trace
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Age: 15
Distilled: 1998?
Bottled: 2013
Strength: 64.1%
Cask: Virgin North American Oak
Bourbon is something which I buy only occasionally and it makes a nice change from Scotch Whisky and this will be the first time I have reviewed one.
This particular Bourbon is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon which has been released by the Buffalo Trace distillery as part of their yearly Antique Collection range. Very limited numbers of these reach only a very limited number of specialist retailers in the UK so I very privileged to have been able to reserve a bottle when I was at a Buffalo Trace tasting at The Good Spirits Co. with their master blender Drew Mayville. We tried several different Bourbons from both their regular range and also from the Antique Collection and this one was definately my favourite.
Nose: Immediately I am blasted with muscovado sugar, molasses, treacle, maple syrup, golden syrup. See where I am going here? Very sweet, sugary and syrupy. Powerful oak influence but this isn't Scotch Whisky - the spirit wants it and needs it. This is emanating those oaky spices of vanilla, ginger, pepper, cinnamon and even some sharp and fruity coriander which always smell like Skittles. Cinnamon coming along as an oil as well as orange oil. There are definate meaty beefy notes but add them to those sugary syrups and spices and we have something verging on a juicy, spicy marinated seasoned steak. I am also getting dark and milk chocolate notes alongside deep rich brandy soaked cherries which are being served as a compote alongside that steak. Finishing the plate off is a buttered and roasted corn on the cob.
Palate: Hot but not as hot as expected with a healthy ABV of 64.1% would suggest. Very sweet with dark chocolate bitterness, tamed with vanilla, caramel and those brandy soaked cherries again. Big, oily, chewy with the chocolate turning more fudgey and milky.
Finish: Long and satisfying, spicy, chocolately and dominated by the dark cherry again. Finished off with a shot of espresso.
Comments: This is a stagg-eringly good dram and can be drank as it comes out the bottle or will happily take plenty of water. I dare say it wouldn't be a total sin to make a cocktail or two from it either. If you have managed to pick one of these up already, drink it, and if you haven't, try and get one; You won't be disappointed.

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