I cannot find it anywhere in the UK and only on a few US websites (who don't deliver to the UK). Park Avenue Liquors stock it at $100, but in most places it is sub-$45.
If there is anyone knows where I can buy a bottle, I would be very happy! Alternatively, Customs and Excise in your area allowing, I would be more than happy to send someone a bottle of something they can't find/get in their area, if they are interested in a swap!
Anyway, it's a favorite bourbon -- issued at barrel proof, up to 142.7 proof (71.35 abv) in 2003 -- of almost anyone who's tried it. Previous bottlings have been in the 2,500-4,000-bottle range, and it will be bottled again next month. It and its Antique Collection partners -- Sazerac 18yo rye and Eagle Rare 17yo bourbon -- are generally released annually in September, in limited bottlings.
The UK generally gets 150 bottles or so, but beyond that, export is severely limited by domestic demand/supply.
Anyway, as I said: still looking for a bottle. Anyone got any ideas yet!
Is it worth it ? If you're a big Bourbon fan and completeness of experience is important to you I would say it is. Otherwise there are plenty of other great American whiskies that are easier to get here than the US, that you should check out first.
I checked out importing it and it works out much cheaper, including air fair and customs. Some places will export to the UK but ur going to need to pre-order for the next release.
Stagg is my 2nd favourite whisky of all time. I've had 3 bottles and I suspect that will be it unless I emigrate to the US one day.
Its complexity makes it a wonderful drink to ponder over time, as both the nose and taste transform through several stages as they aerate.
Heavenly stuff, truly.
It is made by Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY.
Since its first appearance on the market in 2002, it has unfortunately gained a cult following and due to its limited bottling, and consequently it is now extremely hard to come by (for mere mortals, that is).
You have to be in the right place at precisely the right time, or pay an exhorbitant premium on ebay. Now if you lived in Kentucky, or were lucky enough to be there during the time of its release, you could drive to all the liquor outlets possible and buy it up by the 6-bottle case. I suspect this has come to an end, many retailers will only sell a 2-bottle maximum to any one customer, in an attempt to help spread it around. Ocassionally you can purhase it in a bar in Kentucky for approx. $20 a glass.
You have to realize that with a unique product of this nature, finding or creating more supply is simply impossible.
Having enjoyed both the 2002 and 2004 expressions, I would have to say that it is by far the most exquisite spirit to ever pass this humble mortal's lips.
Jim Murray (love him or hate him) claims it is his favourite whisk(e)y and in the past has rated it tops in the world.
View the entire antique collection here, the accompanying text is weak.
DaveM wrote:Hey Tim, you beat me to it! You must be a faster typer then I.
Nah, Dave -- I had the advantage of having it right in front of me . I have 17 bottles (at least 2 of each issue), with the '04 and this spring's 131.8-proof version currently open! Can you tell I like it?:wink:
An insignificant quibble: Stagg and the other Antique Collection bottlings are distributed in 3-bottle cases, not 6. Each box has the bottling date hand-written on it.
And, some warehouses are temperature-controlled and closed to the elements -- this is the case at Buffalo Trace -- to more precisely control aging.
There are a number of very nice, older bourbons: Pappy Van Winkle 23yo Family Reserve, its 20yo and 15yo sibling, Elijah Craig 18yo, Eagle Rare 17yo, Evan Williams 15yo, and others. Heaven Hill even sells a 23yo Evan Williams in its gift shop and in Japan, which also sees occasional bottlings of a 28yo EW.
Interestingly, according to the data sheet packed with the three-pack, its proof increased as it aged. I guess it was hot enough in the warehouse that the angels needed extra water.
Even if you aren't fortunate enough to get your hands on a bottle of Stagg, I'd say that anything from Buffalo Trace is likely to be, if not top-shelf, then very close to it. I've never been let down by the ones I've tried.
Crispy Critter wrote:...Interestingly, according to the data sheet packed with the three-pack, its proof increased as it aged...
Unlike Scotch in the cooler, less humid climes of Scotland, this is always the case with bourbon in Kentucky. That is why it can't legally be entered into the barrel at more than 125 proof, although in previous eras -- e.g., post-Prohibition through the '60s -- it often was barreled as low as the low-90s in proof.
Evaporation certainly plays a role -- distillers estimate that about 8% of the bourbon is lost in the first year of aging (when the charred barrel is most absorbent), 3%-5% annually thereafter. This is, as you allude, referred to as the "angels' share". Since water evaporates faster than alcohol, what remains has a higher alcohol content.
And, yes, for those of you sharp mathematicians out there -- that means when they unbarrel, say, Pappy 23yo this December, there will only be 30%-40% (90-100 bottles) of the original distillate left in the 53-(U.S)gallon barrel. That partially explains why it costs so much -- the price of storage and taxes (yes, the distilleries pay state property tax annually on their barreled whiskey) over 23 years is dear!
MrTattieHeid wrote:Water evaporates faster than alcohol? I don't think so. Leave a dram out overnight and see what's left in the morning.
Typically the same dram I started with, only with some dead fruit flies in the bottom of the glass. That is of course, assuming nobody snuck in and tossed it back in the dead of night.
MrTattieHeid wrote:Water evaporates faster than alcohol? I don't think so...
You are correct, and my wording is suspect: I should have written water evaporates 'through the wood' faster than alcohol, because of the differing size of the respective molecules -- or so I'm told by chemists. I am not one.
This at least means I can get a bottle BUT it does mean that I have to pay full-whack! Apparently it will be £100-£150 a bottle!!! In the US, at a rough exchange rate it is less than £30!
So I presume nobody knows a US place that will ship to UK? Just my luck. Hmm, to save up or just live without? Suggestions?
Lessons there for all of us.
Nick Brown wrote:...I am taking this up with ebay, but they have quite a low compensation limit and take a slice off for the privilege. Besides, I am not confident that they would understand the difference between bottlings.
Lessons there for all of us.
Sorry you went through that -- there has been a run of overpriced Stagg on Ebay lately obviously posted by speculators who had no intention other than making as much money as they can from it. Very irritating to those of us who actually drink the stuff -- though, I'm lucky to have 17 bottles in the house of the various issues.
If Ebay understood Stagg, they wouldn't even allow it for sale -- it's against their policy to allow currently-available issues, and almost all of the recent bottles are 2005, which still can be found on shelves here and there in the U.S.
TNbourbon wrote:Very irritating to those of us who actually drink the stuff -- though, I'm lucky to have 17 bottles in the house of the various issues.
I fully intend to drink the stuff but limit myself to one cask strength Bourbon at a time. I currently have a bottle of Bookers open and it has magical qualities - no matter how many drams I take, the level barely seems to go down. I cannot believe the Stagg - or any other whisky - could be as good as the Bookers...
Out of interest, if a genuine 2002 bottling ever came up, what would be a fair price?
Nick Brown wrote:...Out of interest, if a genuine 2002 bottling ever came up, what would be a fair price?
I've seen them sell several times in the past 6 months or so for U.S. $250-$300. Unbelievably, I found one last month still on an out-of-the-way store shelf for under $45. It is my second example, so now I can open one and taste it -- it remains, reputedly, the best of the Stagg issues so far.
Nick Brown wrote:...If they were sold by jdg6d on ebay in the past 6 months then they may well have been 2005 Stagg in disguise.
An authentic 2002 is getting extremely scarce at retail -- I would have said they're extinct until finding that recent one. The current run of current Stagg on Ebay began about a month ago. I suspect much of it -- even when properly described and dated -- is bringing such a high price because it's going overseas. You folks seem to be more attuned to paying that kind of money for whisk(e)y. I guess if you regularly pay the equivalent of U.S. $200 for the best items available, you just do it. But in bourbon, only a tiny few bottles top $75, including those deemed 'best'. Stagg is definitely in that top plateau populated by only a handful of bourbons for me -- but I wouldn't pay over $75 for it. In fact, I've never paid $55 for a bottle.
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