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jeff

BOTM 12/08: George T Stagg '08

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jeff

My apologies again for the late start this month. Let's finish out this year on a high (proof) note: George T Stagg '08. At 141.8 proof, this is one of the stronger releases, but the alcohol doesn't overpower some of the more subtle nuances that make this more than just a winter warmer. Celebrate the season with Santa and Stagg!

:893drillsergeant-thSound off:893drillsergeant-th

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polyamnesia

dang! i was about to buy it a few days ago, but economics means choices...and i am too close to shelling out $53+ for my first Handy Sazerac...

man o man....still, looking with interest at the reviews for those who have tried this year's expression.

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funknik

Haven't seen this anywhere around New England, but it's been on my mind, lately -- the proof is so high!!! :bowdown:

I may have to go online, but am not sure if anyone will ship into ME....

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spun_cookie
Haven't seen this anywhere around New England, but it's been on my mind, lately -- the proof is so high!!! :bowdown:

I may have to go online, but am not sure if anyone will ship into ME....

Julio's may be able to help your NE issues... I have two there... if you need one of them... its yours...

This BOTM gives me a good reason to open mine up... thanks Jeff....

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Attila

I have two '08s and one '07.

I am very probably going to take a guy up on his offer to trade one of my bottles of GTS '08 for 8 bottles of Weller Cenntenial (!).

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funknik
Julio's may be able to help your NE issues... I have two there... if you need one of them... its yours...

This BOTM gives me a good reason to open mine up... thanks Jeff....

Thanks, M. I don't think I'll make it back to Julio's any time soon, though...leastways not before the holidays.

Plus, if I'm any naughtier before Christmas, Santa is gonna write me off.

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kickert

Oh Goodness.

So far I have tasting notes and ratings on 52 whiskeys. George T Stagg '08 is at the very top of that list.

I was visiting in my favorite liquor store when the owner invited me back to try some of this. At that time, it the most expensive, highest proof, oldest bourbon I had ever had. After trying it, I could add "best" to that list of superlatives.

In the glass it is deep mahogany color with an obvious high viscosity. Just by the color you can tell it is either high proof of extra aged. In this case, it is both.

On the first sip, the burn hits you, but it is not like the burn on WT101 or Weller Antique. It is a whole new catagory. It is more a warmth that spreads through your mouth and down your throat rather than a harshness.

The first sip coated my entire mouth in a way I had never experienced before. By the second sip, I could not feel the burn at all but instead had to wrestle with the complex flavors to try and pick out what was swimming around in there. Up front there is a definite sweetness that cannot be ignored. When that is combined with the high viscosity, you almost have to call this bourbon "syrupy." In fact, that was the clearest flavor I could pull out - pancake syrup. I have heard that description used before and I must say it is right on.

Now we get to the finish. Lets see.... I tasted that about 5 days ago and I think I can still pick up hints of the Stagg on my palatte. ;-) In all actuality, the single 1/2 shot I had hung around in my mouth for at least 30 minutes with a clear flavor profile lingering for at least 2 minutes.

If you can get this for $60-70 you need to stock up. If you can find it for $100 I still think its a deal. This is the bourbon I will be dreaming about.

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OscarV

Kickert, you got it right.

This year's Stagg is one of the best.

Definitely better than the '06 and '07.

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PhilsFan

I was going to stick with just WLW from this year's BTAC, but the reviews from AC Detroit & Oscar were so good I couldn't pass it up... Since then I've been going back & forth with pours from the '07 & '08 Stagg to compare. '07 is good, but '08 is better.

-Joe

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spun_cookie

Opened it tonight after I had that great ER... here are my thoughts:

Nose

Ohhh baby… this grabs you from the start. Like that blond vixon at the end of the bar you know is going to hurt you later… but you go down for a “chat†anyhow :D

There is some smoke/charcoal in the scent and A touch of earth and a light tint of oak. Some vanilla is trying to crawl out of the glass with some rye and leather. This is big and you know it... cannot wait to sip on this juice.

Taste:

The taste on this beast is just what you thought the blond would be… sweet with a kick in you head. There is a little earth and smoke to go with that creamy vanilla juice.

You know the rye is there, but it does not dominate the taste, more in perfect balance

Finish:

They say you save the best for last. This finish is crazy good. There is so much here it goes on long past 60 seconds. The smoke blends with that creamy blond vanilla juice that keeps you coming back. What a heart braker... you know you can never get enough before she is gone.

Overall

WOW what a bourbon. Not for the meek. This, straight/neat/pure/etc should be taken with caution!!! By the end of ounce one, the rest of the bottle is in danger. This is as good as the early versions. Usually the lower proofs have been the best, but this is in the top 3 Staggs. A blind taste is in order.

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Dramiel McHinson

Ohhh baby… this grabs you from the start. Like that blond vixon at the end of the bar you know is going to hurt you later… but you go down for a “chat†anyhow :D

Oh man! Time to partake of the sacrement! I have a bottle sitting in front of me but I'll be butt-kicked if I can figure out what year it was fielded. There are no hints that I recognize except its 144.8 proof. I don't think it's the 2008. But, I'm willing to drink it as a consolation prize.

Anybody have any suggestions on how I can identify the year this blond...er...bottle was released?

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polyamnesia
Oh man! Time to partake of the sacrement! I have a bottle sitting in front of me but I'll be butt-kicked if I can figure out what year it was fielded. There are no hints that I recognize except its 144.8 proof. I don't think it's the 2008. But, I'm willing to drink it as a consolation prize.

Anybody have any suggestions on how I can identify the year this blond...er...bottle was released?

i don't know. i am sure it could be googled, but i am long past googling tonight! that number rings a bell. might b the 2007 version. or was that 146 or something?

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chilidawg7
Oh man! Time to partake of the sacrement! I have a bottle sitting in front of me but I'll be butt-kicked if I can figure out what year it was fielded. There are no hints that I recognize except its 144.8 proof. I don't think it's the 2008. But, I'm willing to drink it as a consolation prize.

Anybody have any suggestions on how I can identify the year this blond...er...bottle was released?

From the Wikipedia entry:

  • 2002: 137.6 proof/68.8% ABV
  • 2003 (Hazmat): 142.7 proof/71.35% ABV
  • 2004: 129 proof/64.5% ABV
  • Spring 2005 Lot A: Kentucky release, 130.9 proof/65.45% ABV
  • Spring 2005 Lot B: non-Kentucky release, 131.8 proof/65.9% ABV
  • Fall 2005 (Hazmat II): 141.2 proof/70.6% ABV
  • 2006 (Hazmat III): 140.6 proof/70.3% ABV
  • 2007 (Hazmat IV): 144.8 proof/72.4% ABV

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spun_cookie
Oh man! Time to partake of the sacrement! I have a bottle sitting in front of me but I'll be butt-kicked if I can figure out what year it was fielded. There are no hints that I recognize except its 144.8 proof. I don't think it's the 2008. But, I'm willing to drink it as a consolation prize.

Anybody have any suggestions on how I can identify the year this blond...er...bottle was released?

THat is the 2007 version.. Good, but not the best of the run to me...

Just for quick referance:

2002 - 137.6

2003 - 142.7

2004 - 129

2005 (Fall Release) - 141.2

2005 (spring KY release) - 130.9

2005 (spring outside KY release) - 131.8

2006 - 140.6

2007 - 144.6

2008 - 141.8

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gothbat

This was a refreshing throwback to the fall '05, parts of the nose and taste definitely remind me of that one. Good thing, I think I liked fall '05 the best but this is a close second!

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Dramiel McHinson

Chris, Em,

Thanx for the help. Consolation prize it is.

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spun_cookie

Enjoy the 07... not a bad bourbon... you have to understand when someone says its the least of teh Stagg line, its like haveing the least of the Ferraris.... Blows most everything else out of the water in its line...

I enjoy the 07 on some Ice... just enough o slowly melt and bring out some of the richness hidden in it...

... now go get some 08 :D .. and do you own ranking...

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chefnash51

I've got 2 bottles of the 08 awaiting the finish of the 07. Can't wait to take my time with the 08 bottle..

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Dramiel McHinson
Enjoy the 07... not a bad bourbon... you have to understand when someone says its the least of teh Stagg line, its like haveing the least of the Ferraris.... Blows most everything else out of the water in its line...

I enjoy the 07 on some Ice... just enough o slowly melt and bring out some of the richness hidden in it...

... now go get some 08 :D .. and do you own ranking...

It sounds like you just can't lose on a bottle of Stagg. I think this 07 will tide me over just fine until I capture one (or more) of those 08 bottles:thankyousign:

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shoshani

Although I've picked up both Handy and W. LaRue Weller, I have shied away from picking up Stagg because I did not care for Buffalo Trace, and my understanding is that Stagg is made from the same "low rye" mashbill as BT.

But I also understand that Eagle Rare is made from that mashbill. Does Buffalo Trace sell any barrel strength whiskey from the "high rye" mashbill?

Barrel proof Rock Hill Farms would get my attention in a heartbeat. Not to mention the contents of my bank account.

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chilidawg7

Cross posted from the "What are you drinking tonight?" thread:

Popped open a bottle of GTS '08 tonight.

Wow. This ranks WAY up there on my list of great bourbons. I've consumed many different bourbons in my day, and a select few would qualify as being not merely a drink, but an 'experience.' This is one of the latter.

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Special Reserve
...Wow. This ranks WAY up there on my list of great bourbons. I've consumed many different bourbons in my day, and a select few would qualify as being not merely a drink, but an 'experience.' This is one of the latter.

About the only thing I can add is a little bit goes a long way!

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Skunk
Although I've picked up both Handy and W. LaRue Weller, I have shied away from picking up Stagg because I did not care for Buffalo Trace, and my understanding is that Stagg is made from the same "low rye" mashbill as BT.

If that were the case Stagg and Water would taste like Buffalo Trace, which couldn't be further from the truth IMO.

I like to cut the Stagg to the point of light honey color, with legs that stream down the glass effortlessly. Probably around 80*. Then I let it sit there ten minutes and smell it. Reminds me of a pair of Rick House worker's Carhartts, with a brand new wallet in the back pocket, and assorted Smokey Mountain Taffies in the front.

I'd say do yourself a favor and pick one up, to go with its barrel proof brothers. Or you could get some barrel proof Blantons from Japan...

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BlueRobot

What a treat!

I thought I would not find any comprable to Pappy 15 in the same price range. This pour ranks equal with the PVW15 but for different reasons.

I opened this bottle last night to share with a friend and I have never had a bourbon be the cause of so much conversation. We both could not believe the level, complexity, and changing flavors encounterd.

I normally do not drink neat, but I could not bring myself to cut this nectar of the Kentucky gods down.

Instantly warming when it hits your mouth. Not the WOW is that strong response that I have had to some uncut bourbons. It was a potent, but welcome warming.

Flavors at various times along the way:

Brown Sugar

Molasses

Caramel

Cinnamon

Nutmeg

Cotton Candy (yes cotton candy)

I'm glad I have some reserve of this one.

Can I vote ER17 '08 as the January BOTM?

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Lost Pollito

I'm with Skunk on cuttin. I start neat and slowly add water to the honey color level, and find that the Stagg just starts to explode with flavor.

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