PDA

View Full Version : Antique Collection - What to buy/not to buy?



JRomain
11-08-2007, 21:49
Howdy gang.

Who here has tasted the entire 2007 AC? Are there any duds from this release ('05 WLW comes to mind), and are there any real gems (of course there are!)?
I bought some '07 Handy last week, and can't say I'm disappointed. I still have some '06 Stagg and I guess am basically wondering what should be my next purchase.

Money's tight or else I would buy and try them all for myself.

Cheers!
Jeff

BourbonJoe
11-08-2007, 22:57
I tasted the entire 2007 BTAC at the Philadelphia Whiskeyfest. There ain't a bummer in the bunch, so to speak. I liked them all, including the ER-17.
What have I purchased? Everything except the ER-17.
Joe :usflag:

NickAtMartinis
11-09-2007, 04:24
Howdy gang.

Who here has tasted the entire 2007 AC? Are there any duds from this release ('05 WLW comes to mind), and are there any real gems (of course there are!)?
I bought some '07 Handy last week, and can't say I'm disappointed. I still have some '06 Stagg and I guess am basically wondering what should be my next purchase.

Money's tight or else I would buy and try them all for myself.

Cheers!
Jeff


Here's the order in which I would put them, from best to worst:

Stagg
ER
Saz
WLW


It's all a matter of own individual tastes, but for me I thought the WLW was the weakest of the bunch. I'm a big Weller Antique fan and I'd rather save the $35+ and buy the Weller Antique 107 instead. But, again, I hate to sway you in one direction or another.

As far as my top two are concerned, the Stagg and ER are very close, more like 1A and 1B.

ACDetroit
11-09-2007, 04:59
I would agree with Mark. I did sip on some Handy, night before last and it to was Stellar!

If I was adding one or two bottles I'd get a Stagg you can never go wrong with that. Then I'd flip a coin for the ER 17 yr. or some Saz 18 yr., if the Saz is hard to find in CO go with the ER.

Good luck and happy shopping!

Tony

Phischy
11-09-2007, 09:43
(FURTHER ADVENTURES OF THE USS PHISCHY)
PING!

Sonar: "Captain! We've got a return ping! BTAC Fleet is spotted in Colorado!"

Captain E: "Great Sonar...if you can't remember we're a submarine. Denver is 5,000 ft ABOVE sealevel. AS this sub has neither wheels nor wings I'm not going to make the raiding party walk 1,800 miles. Unless you're volunteering...."

Sonar: "Aye aye sir, But no...that's a bit far."

Captain E: "Keep up the search, the fleet seems to be moving further west. We'll get them eventually."

(STAY TUNED....)

snakster
11-09-2007, 10:12
(FURTHER ADVENTURES OF THE USS PHISCHY)
PING!

Sonar: "Captain! We've got a return ping! BTAC Fleet is spotted in Colorado!"

Captain E: "Great Sonar...if you can't remember we're a submarine. Denver is 5,000 ft ABOVE sealevel. AS this sub has neither wheels nor wings I'm not going to make the raiding party walk 1,800 miles. Unless you're volunteering...."

Sonar: "Aye aye sir, But no...that's a bit far."

Captain E: "Keep up the search, the fleet seems to be moving further west. We'll get them eventually."

(STAY TUNED....)

Now THAT'S entertainment.

I have only tasted the GTS and the WLW so far. Nod goes to the GTS. I have the Saz 18 unopened (probably crack this weekend). Have not purchased the ER or Handy to date.

Phischy
11-09-2007, 10:19
I'm easily bored, and I have an active imagination. And I'm a pirate...garrrr.

NickAtMartinis
11-09-2007, 13:20
(FURTHER ADVENTURES OF THE USS PHISCHY)
PING!

Sonar: "Captain! We've got a return ping! BTAC Fleet is spotted in Colorado!"

Captain E: "Great Sonar...if you can't remember we're a submarine. Denver is 5,000 ft ABOVE sealevel. AS this sub has neither wheels nor wings I'm not going to make the raiding party walk 1,800 miles. Unless you're volunteering...."

Sonar: "Aye aye sir, But no...that's a bit far."

Captain E: "Keep up the search, the fleet seems to be moving further west. We'll get them eventually."

(STAY TUNED....)

:slappin:

Keep your ear to the ground, err, water that is.:grin:

heatmiser
11-09-2007, 13:56
Talked with Trayce at Hi-Times yesterday and he said the ETA for the BTAC collection is a week from today. 'Bout time it makes its way out west!!!

Phischy
11-09-2007, 16:22
Comms: "Captain! Just got word from C.O.M.P.A.C. SUB ALLIANCE BBQ HQ! They're reporting that the BTAC is westbound...a week out!"

Captain E: "Excellent Mister Jones. Put me on the squawk box."

"ATTENTION ALL HANDS. THIS IS THE CAPTAIN SPEAKING. AT LONG LAST THE BTAC FLEET IS NEARING OUR GRASP. SHARPEN YOUR SWORDS AND KNIVES, RIG THE BOAT TO TAKE ON CARGO. DOUBLE RATIONS AND DOUBLE GROG TO GET THIS TUB SHIPSHAPE! SOON BOYS, SOON!"

Captain E: "Mechanics: make sure all the batteries are working. Weapons: run a check list against all grapples, the deck gun and make sure we've got fish in the tubes. If we can't take her, we'll make sure no one else does. Sonar: keep your ears open lest there been anyone in our wake trying to snake our bounty! Navagator: plot an intercept course, get us into a position a day out to get the jump on 'em!"

*Crew of the USS Phischy is working double time, a scrambling of activity. Sparks fly from a grinder, the low glow of a welding torch in the back ground, weapons crews ready the boat for action and the old man calmly sews a patch on old Davy Jones*

(STAY TUNED! WILL THE USS PHISCHY AQUIRE ITS BOUNTY? WILL THE CAPTAIN GO MAD? TUNE IN NEXT WEEK!)

Everman75
11-09-2007, 19:04
BTAC:

I'm going to get either the Stagg or the Weller. Sounds like you guys are prefering Stagg over the Weller. Is this correct? Any one else wanna sound off? Cause I'm going to get one of them tomorrow.:grin:

BTW...I have never tried any of the BTAC's.

Pharaoh
11-10-2007, 05:02
Don't fire a torpedo just yet Phischy, fwiw, my sources tell me the California allocation kicks in today.

Rughi
11-10-2007, 15:15
(STAY TUNED! WILL THE USS PHISCHY AQUIRE ITS BOUNTY? WILL THE CAPTAIN GO MAD? TUNE IN NEXT WEEK!)

Phischy - Go buy those BTACs!!!!!

All except Handy available TODAY at a Bevmo - and hopefully a liquor store near you. Ken clued me in that their website has a real-time inventory for each store. You can purchase online and pick it up.

I don't want to hype Bevmo over independents, they're not perfect and try to monopolize goods from other retailers, but their online inventory is pretty, errr, Handy.

Roger

polyamnesia
11-10-2007, 16:56
ok.......it's almost 8pm

the store closest to me has 6 units (according to the PLCB site) of new STAGG on hand...

do i run out NOW NOW NOW and grab one of those $53.99 bottles?:rolleyes:

or am i safe waiting until sunday...........:grin:

since they are within reach, i am psyched...but is it really REALLY really
worth the price?

i know, i know....it is IS is

kpendle
11-10-2007, 18:21
I picked up some at BevMo today. And they do have the Handy although I was unable to find it in their Web Storefront. They don't even have them locked away. Just proud soldiers all lined up on the shelf and ready for battle.

I will add based on what they had listed for quantities online and what was in the store the WLW and Handy are probably the ones there are the least of. I believe another post also referenced there was not as much of the WLW. They had twice as many Sazerac as Handy and WLW. And 3-4 times the quanities for ER17 and Stagg. But the Qty listed for Stagg has decreased by half since I first looked from 24 to 12 at the online virtual store. So they are going fast.

A tip for those of you who do occasionally purchase from BevMo they do seem to favor certain stores and not all will get the limited bottlings. And as others I believe have pointed out in the past their online inventory listings for each store are not perfect. Sometimes ahead or behind. The ahead being sometimes they are listed before they actually make it to the shelf. And store employees usually can't locate them. That happened to me today so I ended up having to go a little further to get them after they called and let me know they could not find it.

Watching my budget closely I only got WLW, Stagg, and the Handy. I have not been impressed enough with the ER17 to justify the price and the Sazerac will have to wait since I recently picked up some Van Winkle Rye.

Oh, and one side note I stopped at a couple places on the way to pickup the BTAC bottles and did find a Kentucky Spirit Pewter top bottled in 2000 for $29.99. Too good to pass up so it came home with me also.

I will agree with Roger in I prefer to deal with a particular independent store over BevMo. But my normal store still has previous issues of WLW, Stagg, and ER17 so I am not certain when and if they will be getting any of the 2007 issues.

Ken

TNbourbon
11-10-2007, 20:52
Buy the barrel-proofs. Unless they are significantly cheaper, the Saz 18 and ER17 are poorer values, relatively. Frankly, the Saz is likely to be the highest of the five. Ignore the previous, of course, if you're planning to sell them on eBay and alienate the rest of us.

polyamnesia
11-11-2007, 08:05
i am seeing a few Staggs on ebay, says 144 proof (so that's the latest, right?) and already going for $60+ and more on another that sold last night. someone in Kentucky.

darkluna
11-15-2007, 09:01
My interests are in the barrel proof versions, with Handy leading the pack. I'm nursing a 2006 bottle while I wait for the new bottles to arrive. I hope the 2007 is as good as last years! Any thoughts from those who have tasted it??

Phischy
11-15-2007, 09:08
Make sure you check the labels/proofs. Just b/c a store just got it in doesn't mean it's an '07. I bought '07 Stagg/Handy/Saz/ER and the ER17 label says Fall '06. I kept it anyway since I only have 1 bottle bunkered...now I can do side by side tastings!

Larue Weller is by far the shortest in supply, my Bevmo didn't get it in, but there are others...some only recieved 3 bottles if any. My Bevmo guy rocks...while he can't do anything about people buying it online, he did not shelve any of the BTAC until I came to pick some up! Gotta love that!

I really like the Saz...Drinking any of the barrel proofs is just a bit too strong so I'm learning to cut them down a bit. It seems the alcohol in Handy/Stagg 'flashes' off the tongue. Interesting expierence!

NickAtMartinis
11-15-2007, 13:32
My interests are in the barrel proof versions, with Handy leading the pack. I'm nursing a 2006 bottle while I wait for the new bottles to arrive. I hope the 2007 is as good as last years! Any thoughts from those who have tasted it??


I've learned with the new '07 BTAC that barrel proof is not the be all, end all. What I've found with the Stagg is at 144+ proof, it has a tendency to numb my tongue. Granted, there's a bunch of flavor at barrel proof but what good is it when you lose half your tastebuds after the first few sips?

So, what I decided to do last night, after having lost 5,000 tastebuds, was water down the Stagg to around 120 proof. By deluting the bouron, I was able to keep my remaining tastebuds and, at the same time, maintain the integrity of the flavor.

By the way, I've had no problem with the '07 WLW. My tastebuds remain intact throughout.

jburlowski
11-15-2007, 16:43
I've learned with the new '07 BTAC that barrel proof is not the be all, end all. What I've found with the Stagg is at 144+ proof, it has a tendency to numb my tongue. Granted, there's a bunch of flavor at barrel proof but what good is it when you lose half your tastebuds after the first few sips?

So, what I decided to do last night, after having lost 5,000 tastebuds, was water down the Stagg to around 120 proof. By deluting the bouron, I was able to keep my remaining tastebuds and, at the same time, maintain the integrity of the flavor.

By the way, I've had no problem with the '07 WLW. My tastebuds remain intact throughout.

Anyone (IMHO) who drinks the new GTS straight is trying to compensate for something... 144 proof will pickle anyone's taste buds to the point where they cannot distinguish much of anything. Dilute it down to a more reasonable proof (you decide) and enjoy all the richness and complexity that it has to offer...

NickAtMartinis
11-15-2007, 17:04
Anyone (IMHO) who drinks the new GTS straight is trying to compensate for something... 144 proof will pickle anyone's taste buds to the point where they cannot distinguish much of anything. Dilute it down to a more reasonable proof (you decide) and enjoy all the richness and complexity that it has to offer...

Much agreed. The strange thing is that I don't remember having a problem with last year's Stagg. Not that I thought I was a big man for drinking it at that high of proof but my reasoning for doing so was the enriched flavor.

OscarV
11-15-2007, 17:04
I just calculated an easy cut to remember for this year's Stagg.

A half ounce of water and 2 ounces of Stagg, you'll get a 115.84 proof Stagg.

polyamnesia
11-15-2007, 17:57
glad to hear that there IS a numbing of the tastebuds...though it was "painless" i did lose a taste edge. and the next pour was like eating chocolate with the wrapper still intact....metaphorically, that is!:rolleyes:

will dilute accordingly this weekend.

Grain Brain
11-17-2007, 18:14
My interests are in the barrel proof versions, with Handy leading the pack. I'm nursing a 2006 bottle while I wait for the new bottles to arrive. I hope the 2007 is as good as last years! Any thoughts from those who have tasted it??

It is beyond fantastic. I have only had the Saz 18 and the Handy so far this year, and the Handy is just killer. I tried it neat with the intention of adding water after tasting it full strength, but it was so smooth that I finished the sample without adding water no problem. It is super rich, full bodied and has a greatly balanced spiciness. Definitely a rye fiend's wet dream.

drli
11-17-2007, 20:23
I wish I had a local independent store that would stock a good supply of fine Bourbon. And, I could go there all year and buy some at will... All I can find here is a good selection of Tequila. But, hey, I live in San Jose, CA. BevMo is all I got left after Liquor Barn moved out. Yea, I can order online. At least we get the black label Evan Williams, and not the green label at the local Longs Drug for $12.99 per 1.75L.

So, anyway, I am glad that I am able to get some of the Antique Collection and just a few weeks back some of the Van Winkle offerings from BevMo. Well, actually, I was only able to get 2 bottles each of the Winkle 10y 107p, 13y reserve rye, and 15y pappy... but I had to go to two different stores to do it. Dam, this fine Bourbon goes fast around here. You really need to be on your toes.... or its just plane gone.

It wasnt that long ago that we got the Buffalo Trace namesake bottle at BevMo. I have yet to buy a bottle at Bevmo since I have one bottle ,single barrel, left that I ordered from binnys, still in the bunker.

Dam, I really like that Van Winkle 13y Rye.... wish I could get more.., but they dont show any bottles available... at bevmo....

CrispyCritter
11-17-2007, 21:43
Tonight, I opened my three BTAC bottles and had a pour from each: first Saz 18, then Handy, then Stagg.

All of them are knockouts - every bit as good as I was expecting. As for the Stagg, I tried a couple of sips neat, and it didn't seem any more powerful than the '06 version - then again, '06 was mighty powerful! I then added an unscientific amount of water (I would guess I brought it down to about 125 proof or so), and it really opened up nicely, while still retaining its Staggness.

I know some have criticized Saz 18 and ER17 for being 90 proof, but I still feel that they're worth the price. With the BTAC, you get your choice - extra age (ER17, Saz 18), barrel proof (Larue, Handy) or both (Stagg).

I'd love to be able to afford more of this year's crop, but I have a full set of '06 (plus a spare '06 Saz 18 and Handy, and Spring and Fall '05 Staggs) bunkerized, so I'm not in too bad a shape.

Phischy
11-20-2007, 09:05
I was sipping Larue and Stagg last night. I do not care for the Larue...I just find it boring and too hot. Stagg is of course stronger but there's more going on.

Haven't seen the ER17 '07 but I like the 06s and the Saz's.

But really, for the price there's other stuff out there that's just as good. Aside from the Saz, I may be skipping the rest of the BTAC. To think that, after all the waiting and hunting and asking...to just realize it's good...but not great.

And since the Larue is a bummer...I wish I'd picked up the Pappy Rye.

*sigh*

Rughi
11-20-2007, 09:20
I had Handy last weekend and it was very, very good.

Even though you could look at it as just Saz Jr. Barrel Proof, what's in the bottle is at an age that balances youthful brightness with just a slight touch of old barrel flavors. A profile not to be had anywhere else - including its sister Saz Jr. and its unrelated namesake Saz 18 (which is 18 the way Jack Benny is still 39).

Is BT making a bigger profit off of this than other, more aged, brands? I guess Hell yeah, but it delivers. Like Blanton's, it's the barrel selection not the age, that defines the product.

I can't wait until this juice becomes Saz 18 - and I hope even more they offer a mid-aged barrel proof of this in coming years to fill the gap between.

Roger

doubleblank
11-20-2007, 09:45
The difficulty in getting excited about this year's BTAC's is that they are 1) not only competing with what's out there in the current marketplace, but are up against previous BTAC's and 2) are up against the "collections" many members here have in their bunkers. If their only competition for accolades were current bottlings, we'd all be pretty excited by the variety of flavors and proofs offered by the 2007 BTAC's. But I (and many here) have Staggs going back to 2002, Saz 18s back to 2000, extensive bunkers, etc, etc. And that's tough competition!

When Stagg arrived in 2002, we didn't know the future of BTACs and many of us stocked up on any we could find in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Now that its clear this will be a regular bottling (and occasionally multiple releases in a year like the 2005 Staggs), I don't feel the need to grab each and every BTAC upon release. I've tried this years Stagg and W Larue and find them both fine, but neither screams "buy all you can" in the context that I probably already have a lifetime supply of Stagg in the bunker and prefer ORVW 15/107 and other wheaters to the W Larue Wellers.

I know this doesn't exactly answer "what to buy", but I'll generalize by saying that if you're new to the BTAC's....by all means grab a few. If you have a bunker with plenty of previous releases.....then taste before you buy.....unless you're keeping a vertical collection intact (I'm doing that with Stagg only).

Randy

snakster
11-20-2007, 18:31
I was sipping Larue and Stagg last night. I do not care for the Larue...I just find it boring and too hot. Stagg is of course stronger but there's more going on.

I too had them back to back and liked the stagg better (or is that, liked the weller less?). I think what brings the weller down in this instance is having it immediately compared to the Stagg. I think in a vacuum I would find it quite good.

jburlowski
11-21-2007, 08:01
The difficulty in getting excited about this year's BTAC's is that they are 1) not only competing with what's out there in the current marketplace, but are up against previous BTAC's and 2) are up against the "collections" many members here have in their bunkers. If their only competition for accolades were current bottlings, we'd all be pretty excited by the variety of flavors and proofs offered by the 2007 BTAC's. But I (and many here) have Staggs going back to 2002, Saz 18s back to 2000, extensive bunkers, etc, etc. And that's tough competition!

When Stagg arrived in 2002, we didn't know the future of BTACs and many of us stocked up on any we could find in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Now that its clear this will be a regular bottling (and occasionally multiple releases in a year like the 2005 Staggs), I don't feel the need to grab each and every BTAC upon release. I've tried this years Stagg and W Larue and find them both fine, but neither screams "buy all you can" in the context that I probably already have a lifetime supply of Stagg in the bunker and prefer ORVW 15/107 and other wheaters to the W Larue Wellers.

I know this doesn't exactly answer "what to buy", but I'll generalize by saying that if you're new to the BTAC's....by all means grab a few. If you have a bunker with plenty of previous releases.....then taste before you buy.....unless you're keeping a vertical collection intact (I'm doing that with Stagg only).

Randy

Randy,

I hear you and agree up to a point.

I feel the BTAC is diminishing with quality from year to year. Part of this is probably a reflection of the growing shortage of extra-aged bourbon. I mean, this year's WLW is only ten years old!

Having said that, these are still all seriously good whiskies and I would recommend them (assuming one agrees with the price proposition). Grabbing all you can get? Not me. I'm not much of a "bunkerer". I'll buy what I can drink in a year with an extra bottle or two for trade or as gifts.

Like everything else on this board: to each his own.

Sweetmeats
11-21-2007, 15:33
I'll buy one each of the barrel proofs and that's it.

fog
11-21-2007, 16:46
Not diluting the bourbon does not cost Buffalo Trace enough to justify a super-premium price. I do not want to pay for something which is artificially made scarce. Particularly while there are other producers (Four Roses, Wild Turkey) selling quality bourbon at near optimal proof, without demanding extra cash for the lack of dilution.

That said, I hope to purchase a bottle of Stagg, ER, and Sazerac, while passing on the Handy and Weller.

Perhaps I am wrong, and the Handy and Weller represent barrels selected for exceptional quality?

TBoner
11-21-2007, 17:03
Well, I can't speak for the Weller, but damn if the 2007 Handy isn't one of the best whiskeys I've had. Buy it. Period.



Unless you hate rye. Or unless you're going to get mad at me if you don't like it.:grin:

Really. Great stuff.

fog
11-21-2007, 17:11
Well, I can't speak for the Weller, but damn if the 2007 Handy isn't one of the best whiskeys I've had. Buy it. Period.



Unless you hate rye. Or unless you're going to get mad at me if you don't like it.:grin:

Really. Great stuff.

I would most likely enjoy it, but I am already content with the standard Sazerac Rye for $20. Is it that much better?

HipFlask
11-21-2007, 19:56
I plan on getting Saz 18, Stagg, and Handy. I haven't seen any here in Wisconsin yet. And then all of the 13 yr rye I can get. I also want to stock up on any Four Roses I can get in Chitown. My wife will put the breaks on when she notices how much money I will have spent on whiskey. Shh.... don't clue her into my plan.

drli
11-22-2007, 18:51
Since it is Thanksgiving, the wife agreed that it is special occasion enough to open up one of my 2 freshly bunkered bottles of ’07 William Larue Weller. I didn’t purchase any of the past offerings, so this is a 1st taste for me.

I find it very good for a wheated bourbon (I actually prefer Rye). This is by far the best Weller bourbon available and I have tried all the rest. Very drinkable, sweet, great as an after Thanksgiving dinner drink. I dont find it very stong as I am use to the Winkle Family Rye at 95.6.

staggmeister
11-23-2007, 20:09
It is beyond fantastic. I have only had the Saz 18 and the Handy so far this year, and the Handy is just killer. I tried it neat with the intention of adding water after tasting it full strength, but it was so smooth that I finished the sample without adding water no problem. It is super rich, full bodied and has a greatly balanced spiciness. Definitely a rye fiend's wet dream.

I bought Stagg and 18 year old Sazerac this year. The Stagg is just magnificent, but I find the finish on the Saz a lot woodier than last year's.

heatmiser
11-23-2007, 21:27
I just purchased the Stagg, Weller & Handy. I am on vacation visiting the in-laws this week and couldn't wait to open them up until I got home. All three are excellent with the Stagg being the stand out for me. The Stagg was the tops for me last year as well. IMO the Stagg is a must try for a bourbon drinker.

gr8erdane
11-24-2007, 05:05
I'm not sure if this is your meaning but for sure, it's not Buffalo Trace that is driving the prices up on the BTAC. The varying prices from merchant to merchant shows that there is a wide range of pricing that as you say is artificially inflated to a point but that's not BT's fault. If anything, the pricing for a barrel proof limited bottling is VERY reasonable (unless you have to buy on eBay) for the product IMHO. Especially for the Stagg which consistantly garners high marks from all the "experts". Personally, I have one of each of the others, and like Randy only keep buying the Stagg to keep the vertical line going. But I digress. If you want to point out who's driving the prices up, look to the distribution, sale, and resale markets. As long as I can find Stagg at 60 bucks or less I consider that a bargain well worth the cost I doubt I'd pay for many of the other superpremiums.

drli
11-24-2007, 20:24
I originally bought one bottle of Stagg to bunker... but after hearing all that’s going on... Today, I bought 2 more bottles.

And,
I actually like this years Weller. I am working on a bottle now, but I also didnt taste any of the past offerings.


Besides, Weller is sold out here where as Stagg, Sazerac, and ER is still available. I have been unable to get any Handy as of yet.