Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon Batch 18, Winter 2022 - 131 proof
There are a lot of barrel proof bourbons on the market, yet few have the éclat that Stagg does. Many barrel proof bourbons share similar flavor notes of oak, vanilla, caramel, maple, molasses, and brown sugar. Some stay within these fundamental flavors and excel, while others try and offer a bit more. Both George T. Stagg and Stagg have often been rooted in the fundamentals, yet they always offer their quintessential Stagg bite. It can be hard to completely capture with words what makes Stagg, Stagg, but all it takes is one sip and you know it.
That’s why Stagg Batch 18 is such a surprise. It’s still a Stagg bourbon, but that trademark flavor and bite are slightly amended. Tasting blind, there’s a good chance you might not be able to pick it as a Stagg bourbon compared to other batches that have come before it. The bourbon features a much stronger cinnamon component this time, and the dry tannic oak can be quite assertive. It’s still as hot as ever, but that hotness doesn’t bring with it the same degree of flavor explosion of previous batches. In more than a few ways, Batch 18 harkens back to the earliest batches of the brand - for better or for worse. I noted in my Batch 17 review that it was “more of the same,” where Batch 18 stands out for being different, and because of that, it will likely be a contested release for fans of its traditional barrel proof flavor profile.
George T. Stagg built the most dominant American distillery of the 19th century, during a time known as the Gilded Age of Bourbon. Uncut and unfiltered, this robust bourbon whiskey ages for nearly a decade and boasts the bold character that is reminiscent of the man himself.
"Rich, sweet, chocolate and brown sugar flavors mingle in perfect balance with the bold rye spiciness. The boundless finish lingers with hints of cherries, cloves and smokiness"
One of the real fathers of bourbon is Edmund Haynes Taylor Jr. He was adopted by his uncle, Edmund Haynes Taylor Snr., who rechristened him as his junior, after becoming an orphan at the age of five in 1830. Due to his honorary title of Kentucky Colonel, E.H. Taylor Jr. is also referred to as Colonel Taylor. Taylor established and owned seven distinct distilleries throughout the course of his career, and because of his advocacy for the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897, he is regarded as "the father of modern bourbon."
He established the Old Taylor distillery close to Frankfort in Kentucky ten years earlier after selling his interest in the OFC distillery (now Buffalo Trace) to George T. Stagg. The distillery, which gave rise to bourbon tourism, included a fake castle and subterranean gardens on the property. Here, he founded the Old Taylor brand, which was later acquired by National Distillers, one of the "big four" distilling companies that controlled the post-repeal market, after Prohibition.
Bottle Size: 750ml
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