Archive for October, 2009

I honestly can’t tell you much about George T. Stagg. There’s no official website for the whiskey, other blogs mention that it’s an unfiltered rye-recipe bourbon distilled in the winter of ’92 and very little else. As such, we will happily describe it simply as ONE ENIGMATIC BOURBON.

I picked up this fine bottle, along with its cousin William Larue Weller (more on that at a later date) at Bauer Wine and Spirits on Newbury St. It’s pricey, but it’s being hailed as one of the five or so domestic whiskeys to come out this year that are really quite exciting.

Consumed: Diluted with filtered water.

This bourbon is 141.4 proof. Full stop. As a general rule, I prefer barrel strength bourbon (which this certainly is), because I value the freedom to taste it at varying strengths, and ultimately dilute it to a strength I find suits my mood. This particular vintage is characterized by a very intense, complex sweetness: caramel, toffee, molasses and maple sap at first, with vanilla and oak in a big way, and a long caramel finish. It’s very well balanced with subtler notes of mint, coffee, nougat and banana.

Personally, I really like this bourbon.

George T. Stagg 2009


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McCarthy’s Single Malt is a Islay-style single malt whiskey from Clear Creek Distillery in Portland, Oregon. The peat-malted barley is brought over from Scotland and fermented by Porland micro-brewery Widmer Brothers. Clear Creek’s distiller Steve McCarthy then distills and ages it, first in sherry casks then in Oregon oak barrels for a total of three years.

I picked up this bottle from Federal Wine & Spirits a couple days ago and over the course of the week have been slowly tasting it.

Consumed: Neat, with a glass of water on the side.

It’s a very light gold, almost sunshine in the glass and it’s got a very heavy, lingering saline minerality to it, it’s intensely peaty, smokey, and heavy on the phenols. It’s complex, but I’m not sure I’d describe it as well balanced since it’s hard to get past the salt and smoke; however once you do it has notes of apple, raspberry, cane sugar, sea weed, and stone fruits and finishes with sherry. It goes down surprisingly smooth for such a young whiskey.

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