Buffalo Trace Antique Collection: George T Stagg 2017
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Raided Score: 95
Excerpt: Everything you could ever want in a bourbon but with the intensity and complexity cranked up to maximum. So desserty and rich and yet the oak and tobacco work to compliment it from the nose through the long lingering finish.
Excerpt: Water sounds like a good idea here, but I was surprised to find that a healthy splash really dulled the experience and muted the flavors instead of bringing them to life. A couple of drops is all Stagg 2017 needs to wake up, tempering the heat while letting those spices dazzle. Buy a bottle, but be careful with it.
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This is a well aged, cask strength bourbon that exists as part of the exclusive set of Antique Collection releases that drop from Buffalo Trace every fall. This is a 15 year old bourbon, released as a marriage of 309 barrels that were hand picked by Buffalo Trace staff. As we draw upon the fall hunt season, I found myself finishing this bottle from last years release and figured that Bourbon review #500 made for a good case to finish off the bottle, and my note taking.
Rich oak, cherry, prune and plumb. Pepper, tobacco, super rich musty sweetness. Vanilla, toffee, thick, rich cocoa. Im really surprised by how deep, fruity and rich the nose is.
Thick mouth feel. Mild heat. Lots of cocoa, pipe tobacco and clove. Good oaky body, nice structure without being too dry. Lots of cherry, toffee, some passion fruit. Almost like a cherry cordial.
Long, rich and oaky. Not too much oak here, but just enough to give it a good deal of complexity. Cherry, vanilla and cocoa are also present, with a long tobacco note to close out the dram.
This vintage of George T Stagg wasnt heralded as one of the greats, but I found that I really loved it all the same. The massive fruity body with a compelling oak presence combined with decadent cocoa and pipe tobacco made this a winner for me, and a bottle I enjoyed from first to last.
Our in house critic rates spirits on a scale of 0-10 (10 best) and is aggregated the same as external sources