American Whiskey - Bourbon
George T. Stagg 15yr Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Rating DescriptionTier 2
This is a Tier 2 score in the Whiskey category. It means critics have highly recommended the spirit as a benchmark in the category.
George T Stagg bourbon is part of the Antique Collection of whiskeys from Buffalo Trace. It is uncut and unfiltered, bottled straight from the barrel at a very high proof. They call it "powerful and intense" and recommend mixing with a "few drops" of mineral water. The proof will vary slightly from year-to-year as it is uncut.
For those who seek out the Stagg, this disappointing but still interesting news in the 2015 press release from Buffalo Trace: "Please be warned that finding a bottle of this year’s batch of George T. Stagg will be harder than ever. This batch contained 128 barrels, a similar size batch as in previous years. Unfortunately these barrels yielded very little whiskey. Some of the barrels were nearly empty, containing only 1 or 2 gallons. Storage location of these barrels varied across a number of warehouses and several floors, but 84% of the original whiskey was lost to evaporation." That is the definition of scarcity and limited edition.
One doesn't often think of buffalo in Kentucky but the distillery takes its name from the buffalo path (or "trace") that led to the banks of the Kentucky River in Franklin County. Buffalo Trace Distillery takes pride in the limestone water (being notably free of iron) and good soil conditions for grain. The site has had a working distillery since 1787 but the official Buffalo Trace first began operation in 1857. It obtained one of only four permits offered during Prohibition to maintain production for "medicinal purposes." Today, the distillery sits on a picturesque 119 acres and produces several labels of bourbon.
Buffalo Trace was named Distillery of the Year by the 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. It was named a national historic landmark in 2013.
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