Saturday, June 30, 2012
George T. Stagg 2011 - The Titan. The King.
"For the second year in a row, George T. Stagg, the iconic uncut, unfiltered bourbon released annually from Buffalo Trace Distillery, has been named the number one spirit in the world by noted spirits reviewer F. Paul Pacult"
Yes - Pacult considers George T. Stagg 2010 and 2011 to have been the finest spirits in the world - period. It made big news in 2010 when Highland Park 18, his top pick for over a decade, was finally unseated by *gasp* a Bourbon.
This is a perfect selection for this, the 100th post on The Coopered Tot. We're celebrating with fireworks.
Let's drop by top whisky blog The Casks yet again to get the lowdown on George Stagg's bio & and some details about the bottling, such as age and the number of casks:
"George T. Stagg was successful whiskey salesman who, in 1870, helped E.H. Taylor purchase a distillery originally built in 1812 by one Harrison Blanton. They named the distillery “O.F.C.” after its original name, “Old Fire Copper” and proceed to make a number of significant improvements until 1878 when Stagg bought out his partners share. The distillery was re-named the George T. Stagg distillery in 1904 and ultimately was re-named the Buffalo Trace Distillery in 1999." ... "Along with the strikingly high proof (142.6), another incredible stat about this whisky is the amount lost to evaporation over the years, nearly 58%. After maturing in new American Oak for 18 years and 5 months, the 2011 version was pulled from 124 barrels to make up arguably the most well-known and revered expression of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection."
So, it's the marquis product, incredibly old, enormously powerful, rare, and reputed to be the best spirit in the world. What a build-up.
Color: Dark Reddish amber bronze. A fascinating and incredibly rich color.
Nose: Dense dry leather, saffron, apricot. Old orange, canned peaches and cherry preserves. Virginia tobacco. Chrysanthemums, dried daisies, sultanas. Citrus flowers. A wild and wonderful nose with nobility, depth, and complexity.
Explosive on entry with juicy dried apricot orange paste, cherry, leather, and tobacco. There is sandalwood perfumed oak and intense spirit heat. The flavors keep coming and evolving on the palate: dust, parchment, old books, dried fruits. The finish has old oak bitter tannins, walnuts, and almonds
A few drops of water adds some hard candy and flowers to the dense apricot leather nose. It also adds some smoky, meaty notes.
With those few drops of water, on the tongue the sweetness and mouth feel are enriched and oak forms a rich incense filigree. Char and smoke mingle with the oak incense and deep dried citrus cherry fruit leather. Huge. Titanic. Mouth filling.
With extensive time (an hour) the entry evolves from fruits to brown sugar blackstrap molasses and the sandalwood box wood perfume grows in influence become exquisite and intense.
The afterglow bears the flavors of having eaten red hots jujubes, and cherry pie.
Dense. Layered. Evolving shades of sweet wood fruit and char.
What a monster. What a stupefying tour de force of flavor density, august majesty, and complex and delicious flavor profile. It's clearly one of the greatest spirits ever. Who am I to disagree? My conversion is complete. I am 100% smitten.