Buffalo Trace Distillery has announced their 2020 Antique Collection, with some exciting news for George T. Stagg fans. The Antique Collection is one of the hottest releases of the year – five bottles of aged up, proofed up Buffalo Trace bourbons and ryes that sell as quickly as they hit shelves. Each year’s line differs slightly in age and proof, but don’t worry, we’ve got your breakdown of the 2020 release here. Read on for what the distillery has to say about each rare whiskey below!
George T. Stagg
The proverbial powerhouse favorite of the Antique Collection, George T. Stagg, comes in at 130.4 proof this year. Fans will find the familiar Stagg taste profile they know and love with cinnamon, caramel and cherries on the nose, and a creamy vanilla with lightly smoked oak on the palate. The finish is black coffee, dark cherries and herbs.
This year’s release contains bourbon from barrels filled in the spring of 2005. Storage location of these barrels varied across warehouses L, K and Q. The evaporation loss for this year’s batch was 59%, a bit higher than the last few year’s releases.
William Larue Weller
The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon is William Larue Weller. The 2020 release was distilled in the winter of 2008 and aged in Warehouses I and C. This bourbon registers at 134.5 proof. Flavors of a soft caramel chew, spearmint and cinnamon can be found on the palate in this year’s offering.
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye
Thomas H. Handy is the uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2014; aged in warehouses K, M, and N, and weighs in at 129.0 proof. The flavor profile includes cinnamon, anise and honey.
Eagle Rare 17 Year Old
This 101 proof whiskey was distilled in Spring of 2002 and aged on the first floor of Warehouse P. This bourbon has a nose of ripe cherries, vanilla cream and oak, followed by a taste of caramel and coffee and a long finish of oak, pepper and fresh herbs.
Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old
This 2020 straight rye whiskey release has notable flavors of oak, caramel and dark chocolate, with a finish of coffee, black pepper and cherries. The barrels for this whiskey were filled in the spring of 2002 and it rested on the third floor of Warehouse K. It is bottled at 90 proof.
Some quick math on the line shows that Stagg fans should be thrilled – for the first time in four years, the proof of Stagg Sr. is back above 130. William Larue Weller should also offer an interesting comparison tasting – at 12 years old, it’s the same age as both Weller 12 and Van Winkle Special Reserve, but at 44.5 proof points higher should pack considerably more punch. The proof and age on Eagle Rare 17 and Sazerac 18 hold steady, as does the 6 year age on the Thomas Handy Sazerac, but that won’t make these any easier to find.
The 2020 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection will begin appearing in late September and early October, with a suggested retail price of $99 per bottle.