October 27, 2021

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Buffalo Hint Distillery's George T. Stagg Faces Scarcity

Buffalo Trace Distillery's George T. Stagg Faces Shortage

Amongst bourbon lovers, the annual launch of George T. Stagg, a barrel-proof, unfiltered bourbon produced by Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky, is an enormous occasion. Followers sometimes pay many occasions the steered retail worth of $99 — if they’ll discover a bottle.

This yr, they gained’t discover any, irrespective of how laborious they give the impression of being. The distillery deliberate to announce Wednesday that, for the primary time, it could not launch any George T. Stagg bourbon this yr as a result of the barrels of the 14-year-old whiskey that had been ready in 2006 and earmarked for the annual bottling have been less than Stagg requirements.

“It simply didn’t look proper,” Drew Mayville, the grasp blender at Buffalo Hint, mentioned of the uncooperative bourbon. “It didn’t match the style profile we count on from Stagg.”

Mr. Mayville described that distinct taste as having notes of darkish chocolate, leather-based and darkish cherries, although he added that releases range barely from yr to yr. The 2006 whiskey, he mentioned, was too gentle and undeveloped in character to signify the Stagg model, which the two-century-old distillery describes as “extraordinarily hearty.” The corporate has but to determine a root reason for the issue.

Each new Stagg launch is in contrast with beforehand launched barrels to make sure consistency, and sampled by a staff of seasoned style testers. In line with Buffalo Hint — which additionally helps produce the extremely coveted whiskey Pappy Van Winkle — if one taster offers a thumbs down, the barrel is distributed again to be aged longer.

The barrels in query will likely be put aside and their future progress monitored, Mr. Mayville mentioned. He mentioned he thought of utilizing 2007 barrels for this yr’s launch, however determined in opposition to it, as a result of it could disrupt a long-running custom.

A Buffalo Hint spokeswoman mentioned that holding again on the Stagg launch would price the corporate tens of millions of {dollars} in misplaced gross sales.

The Stagg scarcity is definite to make waves amongst bourbon followers, who’ve been identified to attend in line at liquor shops for a bottle. “It’s laborious to get anyway, however now you possibly can’t get any,” Mr. Mayville mentioned.

George T. Stagg, named for a Nineteenth-century whiskey pioneer, was launched by Buffalo Hint in 2002. The choice to launch the burly bourbon anticipated a marketplace for heavy-duty overproof bourbons that was solely to develop within the coming years. The unique launch bought for $40, a excessive worth for bourbon on the time.

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