Tonight is a Buffalo Trace night. All Bourbon.
Started out with Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel. Lovely, sweet bourbon. Nice spice to it.
Next was Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 year old. Not as sweet, fresh leathery nose. Again, nice spice.
Followed that with Eagle Rare 101 10 year old. Good bourbon at a good price. I hear that it will be discontinued, so if you like it you should stock up. I had thought that I preferred it to the Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 year old, but after tonight's tasting, I am not so sure. I followed the Eagle Rare 101 10 year old with just a drop more of the Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 year old. The Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10 year old wins hands down.
Now I am drinking some George T. Stagg Spring 2005. Wow! This is really growing on me. At first pour the high proof, 65.9% abv, makes the nose too strongly alcoholic. Burns my nose. I find myself blowing into the glass to dilute the fumes so I can smell it. Sip it a while and it becomes much more accessible, especially as the finger pour gets down to an eighth of a inch covering the bottom of the glass. Lots of rye spice without too much of the rye burn that some other high rye mash bills can give you. Honey sweetness comes through with lots of barrel character, leathery oak, with some vanilla, not much, perhaps some fruitiness, but I can't put my finger on what fruit. Obviously, from the order that I have stated I drank them in, I had quite a bit of alcohol before I got to the Stagg. That was intentional. Earlier forays into this bottle I had started with the Stagg and had had trouble with the high proof and the rye burn. With a few good pours to prepare my palate, (Numb isn't quite the word I want, but honesty requires at least a nod in that direction) and I find myself really enjoying this pour. In fact, I find I am tempted to start searching the web for more of this Elixir so that I can bunker dozens of bottles of it for the future. On second thought, I will just trust Buffalo Trace to continue to make superlative whiskey. Seems like a pretty safe bet.