Score: 91 points
This year’s Stagg is less powerful than those from previous years, and the change is due to the location in Buffalo Trace’s warehouses where the casks for the 2013 edition were matured. They were kept in a lower and cooler location, meaning less evaporation and a lower ABV level. While this resulted in a more drinkable Stagg than many previous versions, fans of the punchier Stagg may well be disappointed.
The nose is clean and simple with notes of honey, vanilla, molasses, and toasted oak. The taste is thick and mouth-filling with honey and vanilla notes at first, then the cinnamon and black pepper notes come in slowly and build to a peak — but once again, not the nuclear blast of previous Staggs. The finish is dry and long with muted cinnamon and honey notes. (September, 2013)