Kentucky – 71.4% ABV – $79 (good luck finding a bottle, folks. You’ll likely find more four leaf clovers than bottles of this juice)
The 2012 Buffalo Trace collection has been released and I was lucky enough to win a lotto from Julio’s Liquors in Westborough, MA to get a bottle.
Let me be clear, winning the lotto gave me that opportunity to buy the bottle. I didn’t win the bottle.
This hooch is highly allocated and I count myself as one of the lucky ones to have actually gotten my hands on a bottle.
George T Stagg is one of five whiskies Buffalo Trace releases as part of their yearly “Antique Collection.” And it is, by far, the most sought after one in the group. (The other five bottles being: Eagle Rare 17yo, Sazerac Rye 18yo, Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye and William Larue Weller Bourbon).
At 71.4% alcohol content, this is the highest-octane stuff released this year by Buffalo Trace.
On the nose — For 71.4% I’m not finding this too hot to handle on the nose. The heat is quite easily transformed in to a good deal of black pepper.
Some burn cranberries and heavily toasted hearty wheat breads become obvious. So far, an inspiring nose!
Heavily peppered molasses and salted meat and burnt pencil shavings.
Brown spices (an old bourbon stand-by note) but there are also some lighter fruits in here including white seedless grapes, as an example.
This is one of those whiskeys that you could nose for a good, long time. I see why people go so nuts for it every year.
On the mouth — For the uninitiated, this is some hot juice, no doubt. However, please reward yourself and press on! Take a smaller sip. Here we go again (are you ready?)…
Yeah, that’s the stuff!
Cranberry relish, black pepper, orange zest, vanilla pods… this is BURSTING with flavor. It’s about as moreish as a whiskey gets.
Lovely mouth feel — both zippy and oily at the same time. Speaking of oil, getting a little gun oil here.
On top of this, heavy wood spice and a good whack of everything that makes lebkuchen. It’s basically lebkuchen and Christmas cakes in a glass.
Finish — Drying, spicy and near endless…
In sum — Quite possibly the best bourbon I’ve had in 2012. Actually, this is easily the best bourbon I’ve had this year. Kudos to the distillers. In a word: amazing.
Happy birthday to me. This was my gift to myself this year. A fine purchase. One of the best I made this year.