Monday, March 18, 2024

George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon - 2018

- $110
- 124.9 Proof
- NAS (15 yrs., 4 mos.)
- Kentucky

Okay, let me just get this out of the way . . . this is really fucking good!! No surprise, right?!? For me, this has been the most consistent of all the BTAC releases in that I can't recall there ever being a "down year" for George T. Stagg.  In fact, I was on the fence about even writing this review. After all, by this point, there are hundreds of reviews of the 2018 release, and guess what? Every one of them tells you this is really fucking good!

But, I held onto this bottle for so long, saving the last few pours for who knows what. I just didn't want it to be gone and off my shelf. I liked having that last bit of Stagg sitting there on my shelf, just in case someone came over to my house who had never had it, or just really wanted to try this particular year. After six years, though, it was time, and on a random night drinking with friends, we finally polished off the last few pours.

The nose on this was really fun.  Of course I got some of the traditional notes of caramel and cinnamon, and even some dark cherry and amaretto. It certainly came across as rich and sweet but with a bit of depth. What I loved, however, was that there was a cake-like note on the nose, and eventually I was able to place it as waffle batter. I thoroughly enjoyed this note, particularly as it mixed with the caramel and cherry notes.

From the first sip I couldn't help but notice just how rich and flavorful a bourbon this was. Even at a lower proof than previous years, this had so much depth and flavor and richness and complexity, and all of it seemed to be right in my wheelhouse.

It was full of toffee and cinnamon notes, of course. There was also the constant undercurrent of vanilla bean throughout. And what brought me great joy and pleasure was that I also got the waffle batter that I loved on the nose!!  It added this cookie-like or cake-like flavor and sweetness that, again, just seemed to complement everything else going on here.

The great viscosity on this bourbon provided for a long and lasting finish, and that's where the darker, richer notes really came through. It as dark but sweet cherry along with a brown butter note. It almost had a praline flavor to it that was incredible. As the finish lingered, notes of dark chocolate and cinnamon really stuck in the back of my throat, kind of like a spicy Skor bar. 

Again, no surprise here.  I absolutely loved this. It's always been top tier for me in my ranking of whiskeys, not to mention it's always held a particularly special spot in my heart. I miss it already!

Grade: A+

No comments:

Post a Comment