Score: 9.3 / 10
Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Released every year as part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC). If you don't know BTAC, you have some researching to do after this review. GTS is Part of Mashbill #1 (low rye, less than 10%) and bottled HOT at 130.4 proof. It is believed to be around 12 years old.
Fun facts about the 2020 GTS. It now includes a portrait of George T. Stagg himself on the interior of the label that is revealed once some of its contents are consumed. I guess he only wanted to be viewed by buzzed people to increase his attractiveness. Just kidding./ You can check out the new images here.
Each bottle of GTS has the text C.O.S. in gold foil on the back label. This is a nod to (Charles) Orville Schupp who was the plant manager at the George T. Stagg Co. distillery and protégé of Col. Albert Blanton Check out the info here:
Nose: Toasted caramel, cherries, brown sugar, cinnamon, light oak with a hint of lemon zest and orange. Swirling the whiskey yields a rich malted vanilla ice cream note.
Palate: Astringent orange rind coats the palate as the mouthfeel oscillates between oily and creamy. Cascading waves of vanilla develop on the palate, then blossom into a lightly carbonated sensational cinnamon cherry spice before briefly turns to black pepper on the back-end.
Finish: Very dry and long lasting. An ember of cinnamon spice with seared wood lingers. Big notes of fresh ground coffee commandeer the finish and ultimately leave light dark chocolate to linger on.
S+ Sensational - The Pinnacle (9.5+)
A - AXEceptional (astounding) (9-9.5)
B - bravo (step aBove average) (8-8.9)
C - competent (7-7.9)
D - disappointing (6-6.9)
F - flush it down the toilet (fail) (5.9 below)
Availability? Very Rare. This is almost always only associated with lotteries or rare whiskey events. Hopefully most of these return in the future and all of us crazies can break out our camping tents and cold weather gear.