George T. Stagg is back. In one of Bourbon Hunting Season’s most anticipated moments, Buffalo Trace has unveiled the lineup of its 2022 Antique Collection — complete with the return of George T. Stagg, absent in 2021.
Last year, Buffalo Trace opted not to release its uncut, unfiltered 15-year-old George T. Stagg Bourbon, because the whiskey did not meet distillery standards for the Stagg brand, the company says. This year, the 2007 Stagg barrels showed up with “their classic Stagg presence, full of maturity, balance and flavor,” the company adds — plus a proof of 138.7, the highest since 2016.
The five members of the Antique Collection are George T. Stagg Bourbon, William Larue Weller Bourbon, Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye Whiskey, Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old Bourbon and Sazerac Rye 18-Year-Old Whiskey.
These whiskies represent three different Buffalo Trace mash bills: rye mash bill #1, wheat mash bill and the straight rye mash bill.
This collection is sold separately, only once per year. Bottles should arrive at retail starting early-to-mid November. The suggested retail price is $99 each, per 750-ml. bottle.
Prices at retail, which the distillery cannot control, will likely vary, based on the huge demand and limited allocation for this extraordinarily popular release.
The 2022 lineup includes:
George T. Stagg Bourbon
This year’s offering was distilled in the spring of 2007, making it 15 years and 5 months old at bottling. The proof is 138.7, the highest proof for this whiskey in the past six years. This year’s barrels aged in warehouse K. Tasting notes for call out toasted pecan and chocolate sauce on the nose, a rich blend of baking spice, vanilla and cherry pie on the palate, and a finish of black coffee, molasses and oak, the company reports.
William Larue Weller Bourbon
The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered wheated bourbon. The 2022 release was distilled in the spring of 2010. Barrels aged in warehouses C, K and N. This bourbon is 124.7 proof. Tasters will find a nose of toasted coconut, butterscotch and caramel, followed by a touch of mint, dark cherry and molasses on the palate, the company reports, before a finish with hints of leather, nutmeg, toffee and vanilla.
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye Whiskey
An uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2016; aged in warehouses I, L and M; and weighs in at 130.9 proof, the highest proof for this whiskey since 2012. The flavor profile includes a nose with floral notes, anise, marmalade and meringue, the company reports, followed by a palate with baking spice, a burst of orange peel and dark chocolate, and a finish of cinnamon, praline and candied orange.
Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old Bourbon
This 101-proof whiskey was distilled in the spring of 2005. Barrels aged in warehouses H, K and L. This bourbon has a nose with a hint of tobacco, chocolate-covered cherries and a touch of oak, the company reports, followed by caramel, vanilla bean, dark chocolate and oak on the palate. The finish brings baking spice, vanilla and butterscotch.
Sazerac Rye 18-Year-Old Whiskey
This 2022 straight rye whiskey has a nose of orange peel, lemon zest and molasses, the company reports, leading into a palate with a blend of black pepper, coriander seeds and maple syrup. On the finish is mint, tobacco leaf and oak. The barrels for this whiskey were filled in the spring of 2003 and 2004, and rested in warehouses K, M and P. It comes bottled at 90 proof.
Following Bourbon Hunting Season 2022? Other limited releases this fall include: