George T. Stagg, 70.3%

Price: $55 Issue: Spring 2006 Reviewer: John Hansell

These Stagg releases are becoming legendary. This one, while not the best of the bottlings, maintains the Stagg reputation. When compared with the earlier release in 2005, this Stagg expresses a shade less oak. It's also more subtle and creamier on the palate. It's clean, superbly balanced, and very drinkable-even at higher strengths. Light toffee, maple syrup, and caramel corn provide a bed of sweetness. Layered on top are notes of candied fruit, crisp mint, vanilla, and polished oak. Soft finish. Just don't add too much water to it because the flavors seem to lose their cohesiveness at lower strengths. Drink this whiskey at a strength higher than you normally would to fully appreciate it.