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.
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.
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....
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.
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.
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.
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).