Friday, January 11, 2013

Capitol Bourbon Committee Meeting, Preview

This Saturday the Capitol Bourbon Committee will meet to drink, eat, and drink.  The line-up includes 5 Willetts, 3 different private barrel Old Weller Antiques, a Four Roses OBSF and a Four Roses OESK. I'm really looking forward to hanging out with the guys and sharing some damn fine bourbon.

A partial view of what's on tap for Saturday.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Gulliver's Debut: George T. Stagg 2012 Tasting Notes

Today in his Capitol Bourbon Committee Blog debut, Gulliver reviews a 2012 bottling of George T. Stagg:

George T. Stagg--A lion of a bourbon.

This is the sort of whiskey that makes me wish I had a more expansive vocabulary. I can count on one hand the others (Jefferson 18, Pappy 15, William Larue Weller, Elijah Craig 18) with similarly complex taste and nose: bourbons that seem to change each time you take a sip.  The Stagg has what I can only describe as a "rounded" scent: the very opposite of acidic or astringent, no alcohol-burn (once you've let it rest a minute), but rather something like polished leather or even a nice, robust cookie dough.  Other times (especially with ice), I get hints of hard candy: not sweet, but raw sugar. 

The taste is more leather, with an alcohol punch that promises happier fourth and fifth sips ahead. Mouth feel is silky and full, which is all the more enjoyable for the fact that you'll want to hold it there for a moment before the finish knocks you on your ass. Oaky without being "woody," which is pejorative in my lexicon. The ice-melt of this whiskey should sell for more than the average bottle. (I know, purists, I know: one of these days I'll grow a pair and drink it straight. Or faster. You enjoy yours, I'll enjoy mine.) I could stay happy for the rest of the night just sniffing the glass this was poured in.
I'm not much for ratings unless I'm tasting things side-by-side, but I'll give this a 90. The bourbons I've named above are the only others that compare, so maybe it should be higher, but I'm gonna tell you a dirty little secret: whiskeys between 95 and 105 proof, stuff I don't have to cut on my own, are always going to come in higher than their barrel-proof alternatives. (I know, the purists are pissed again.)
This is a fantastic bourbon.  If you're going to cut it (which is something I recommend), you should go with water instead of ice to get a consistent flavor throughout the pour.  A slow-melting ice-cube means it'll kick your ass at the beginning and waste your money at the end.  But by all means, drink this whiskey if you can get your hands on it.
Here's some other reviews of GTS:

Bourbon Basement

Sour Mash Manifesto (2010 Bottle)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wheater Wednesday, Parker's Heritage Collection, 2010

Note: Wheater Wednesday is a result of a massive blind wheated bourbon tasting I participated in late in 2012.  All the bourbons reviewed here are publicly available.

Parker's Heritage Collection is a highly sought after annual release from the Heaven Hill distillery.  This release is a 10 year old, 127.8 proof, wheated bourbon.  Unfortunately, I missed on out this one when it was in stores, as I was not turned on to the Heritage Collection until 2011.  This one is very popular among bourbon enthusiasts and if you see one on a shelf, you should buy it.  On to the notes:

Nose: Vanilla, caramel, maple. Some bubble gum and apple notes as well.

Taste: Very similar to the nose, but also quite hot.  A couple of drops of water cooled it down and brought out some corn notes.

Finish: Medium in length, with some spiciness on the back of the tongue.

Overall: 84

The group's average score for this bourbon was 90.2, which is one of the highest average scores the group has ever recorded.  I was certainly the outlier here.  I think the heat turned me off, and with a small sample it is difficult to get the proof just where you like it.  I've had this bourbon since, and I have found subsequent pours very, very good.  I highly recommend this bourbon and wish I had a bottle or two in my bunker.

The bourbon dork also reviewed PHC 2010.