Home > American Spirits, Bourbon, Reviews > Bourbon Review: George T. Stagg (2010)

Bourbon Review: George T. Stagg (2010)

George T. Stagg 2010
Distiller: Buffalo Trace
Spirit: Cask Strength Bourbon
Price: $78.60
ABV: 71.5%

Heavy notes of oak, vanilla, spice, ripe bananas, maple syrup, molasses, dark brown sugar, dried fruits

Vanilla, ripe bananas, dried figs, raisin, molasses, spice, oak, and there is a dark cola flavor that lurks in the background

About as long as “long” gets. Heavy spice, oak, sweet maple candy

I feel guilty making a drink with this, but then again, my manhattan makes me want to run down the street, hugging and kissing everyone I see. You might try a cocktail, just to see how good it is (add a little water since this is such an incredibly strong bourbon), but frankly, you really only do it justice when you sip it neat or straight.

As with all the bottles in Buffalo Trace’s “Antique Collection,” George T. Stagg comes in a tall, slender bottle with minimal, white, elegant, old-fashioned-style lettering on the front. The liquid is the focus, as well it should be; the crystal clear bottle shows off the dark, rich mahogany color. There are a set of deer antlers right about the lettering which adds a nice distinction from the others in the series; at the very bottom lies a paper label with that specific batch’s alcohol content. Overall, it’s a simple bottle, that is neither overly beautiful, nor underwhelming.

Where do I start with this one? I guess the first thing that most people notice is that this bourbon packs an enormous kick; at 143% proof, it is the strongest whiskey I’ve ever heard of, but even so, it remains remarkably smooth (considering its proof). I knew I was in for something special when I bought this bottle, but I wasn’t quite sure what was going to be special about it. Was it the incredibly complex nose? Or perhaps roaring flavor that lasts on your tongue? Simply, it is a combination of these two things mixed with the fact that they were able to produce such an incredibly delicious bourbon at such a high proof. I find it hard to compare this to any other bourbon because the experience of drinking it by itself is truly unique, and it shines a light on the many possibilities available in bourbon production. This comes out once a year as a special release, and I am going to make certain that I get at least one bottle next year. This is truly an outstanding spirit.

Reviewed by Richard Borean

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