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  1. #21
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    Northern Kentucky
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    Re: Antique Collection - What to buy/not to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by NickAtMartinis View Post
    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...
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  2. #22
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Northford, CT
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    784

    Re: Antique Collection - What to buy/not to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by jburlowski View Post
    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.

  3. #23
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    May 2006
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    Napoleon, MI
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    7,449

    Re: Antique Collection - What to buy/not to buy?

    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.
    ovh

  4. #24
    Connoisseur
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    Oct 2007
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    804

    Re: Antique Collection - What to buy/not to buy?

    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!

    will dilute accordingly this weekend.
    HUP!

  5. #25
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    111

    Re: Antique Collection - What to buy/not to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by darkluna View Post
    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.
    Ben

    Grain on the Brain

  6. #26

    Re: Antique Collection - What to buy/not to buy?

    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....
    Last edited by drli; 11-17-2007 at 21:26.

  7. #27
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2005
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    Chicago SW 'burbs
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    1,178

    Re: Antique Collection - What to buy/not to buy?

    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.
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  8. #28
    Enthusiast
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    Jun 2006
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    Sandy Eggo
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    384

    Re: Antique Collection - What to buy/not to buy?

    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*
    The avatar is me as a little tyke.

  9. #29
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    Apr 2005
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    1,394

    Re: Antique Collection - What to buy/not to buy?

    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

  10. #30
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Houston, Tx
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    1,798

    Re: Antique Collection - What to buy/not to buy?

    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

 

 

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