The distillery’s yearly collection looks a little different this year, with the George T. Stagg bottling removed for 2021
The fall release of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Antique Collection has been announced, comprising an ensemble of whiskeys across a spectrum of ages and proofs.
However, this year the line-up will look a little different – missing George T. Stagg, the uncut, unfiltered 15-year-old whiskey. This year the expression was cut from the collection as the 15-year-old barrels did not meet the distillery’s standards for the Stagg brand.
Master distiller Harlen Wheatley explained: “Before any barrel can be dumped and bottled, it goes through rigorous testing procedures numerous times to ensure it is meeting the quality standards set forth for that brand.
“Unfortunately, this crop of barrels earmarked to be Stagg back when it was put in the barrel in 2006 did not meet the Stagg profile today. We discussed at great length how to proceed, and ultimately decided we did not feel right about lowering our standards or the age, by dipping into next year’s supply of barrels. We know fans will be disappointed, as are we, but we could not release a Bourbon that we did not feel was up to par with the flavor profile expected of George T. Stagg.”
Buffalo Trace carries out quality tests throughout maturation of the whiskeys; everything from checking turbidity, to testing samples using gas chromatography. However, the distiller recognises the most discerning test of all to be the human palate, gathering a team of taste testers that have undergone sensory analysis training in order to ensure each barrel matches brand standards.
“Quality is always paramount for our products,” said Drew Mayville, master blender, director of quality. “If the taste doesn’t match our expectations, then we will not release it to our customers. And unfortunately, this year’s yield of Stagg did not meet our expectations. Good news is, we’ll have the barrels we put up in 2007, which are on track so far for a 2022 release, barring anything unforeseen changes.”
The four remaining members of the Antique Collection, William Larue Weller, Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye, Eagle Rare 17 Years Old and Sazerac Rye 18 Years Old will be released and should be available at retail starting later this month.
William Larue Weller
The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe Bourbon. The 2021 release was distilled in the winter of 2009 and aged in Warehouses C, D, K, L and Q and sits at 125.3 proof.
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye
The uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2015; aged in warehouses I, L, O, and K and weighs in at 129.5 proof.
Eagle Rare 17 Years Old
This 101-proof whiskey was distilled in Spring of 2002 and aged on the first floor of Warehouse P.
Sazerac Rye 18 Years Old
This 2021 straight rye whiskey release’s barrels were filled in the spring of 2003 and it rested on the second and fourth floors of Warehouses K and P. It is bottled at 90 proof.
The 2021 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC) whiskeys, minus George T. Stagg, will be available in limited quantities starting in late October. Suggested retail price is $99 each. For more information head here.