George T. Stagg, Jr. (132.1 proof)



In 1878, George T. Stagg purchased the Old Fire Copper distillery from his old buddy Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. and established "the most dominant distillery" of the 19th century.  What is now called the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky bore Mr. Stagg's name for a century.

In 2002, Buffalo Trace first released George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey in his honor.  GTS is an uncut, unfiltered, 15+ year-old monster of a bourbon released as part of the annual Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. It hovers around 140 proof and has won Gold and Double Gold medals multiple times at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  Bourbon drinkers everywhere dream about landing a bottle of GTS.

In 2012, the corporate pencil heads at Sazerac (owners of Buffalo Trace Distillery) took full advantage of the hype surrounding GTS and released George T. Stagg, Jr., an 8 or 9 year old batch of GTS, which packs a punch in its own right but doesn't quite garner the attention or accolades that "dad" does.  

George T Stagg, Jr. (132.1 proof)

Buffalo Trace Distillery
132.1 proof
$57 at Burris Liquor Store in Charleston, SC

Color: Dark, mahogany; hint of orange.

Nose: Chocolate/cocoa powder, citrus/orange peel, ALCOHOL burn, brown sugar, light wood, syrup on waffles.  Very hot on the nose, even after significant time and swirling.

Tasting Notes: Caramel, alcohol burn, rye spice, maple syrup, caramelized orange peel, raisin, barrel char, tobacco.  The flavors are muted by the heat, although there are some deep, sweet notes that linger.

Overall: B.  George T. Stagg, Jr. is a fun bourbon.  My wife, not a bourbon drinker, describes it as gasoline and can smell it from across the room.  It's great to have at a bourbon tasting as a comparison to...anything...  It's not the best bourbon out there, but it is fiery hot and carries some sweeter, fruity flavors.