George T. Stagg (2018)

American Whiskey Review #50: George T. Stagg (2018)

Distillery: Buffalo Trace

Region: Kentucky

ABV: 62.45% Cask Strength

Age: 15 year and 4 months.

Color: 1.6, Mahogany/Henna Notes.


Nose: It starts with a lot of cherry cola. That’s joined by a brown sugar caramel. Some well ripened black grapes pop in along with a hint of artificial orange.

Palate: It’s incredibly rich, even at full strength. There’s a tad bit of heat, but far less than you’d except from 62.45% ABV. Chocolate covered cherries and well-aged oak are the main notes here along with the tannins showing themselves well. With minimal water (3 drops), what bit of heat was there goes away. A very rich and silky-smooth caramel fudge pops in. It’s joined by a bit of salted nuttiness, almost reminding me of a salted peanut caramel.

Finish: Very long. It’s very rich as well. It with fresh, slightly tart cherries and gives way to brown sugar cookies. A bit of cola pops in as well as a bit of oak. It seems to be changing quite a bit and when it does eventually let up, it finishes in a dry fashion.

Conclusion: George T. Stagg, perhaps one of the hardest whiskies to find in America. When my local whisky bar gets their allotment (of 1 bottle) every year, it gets emptied within days. I actually managed to get a bit of this particular edition while there was some left at the bar but I wasn’t able to review it at the time and was just left with the memory of a delicious whiskey. Having a second shot at this, it really is a treat. The nose is playful and full of lovely notes. The palate is rich and super flavorful. The finish is fantastic. Overall, it’s really lovely. I can see why people have gone nutters over this, but you won’t find me shelling out the crazy money that this whisky commands nowadays unless I’ve hit the lottery.

Final Score: 91.

American Whiskey Review #50, Bourbon Review #37, Whisky Network Review #287


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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