If you missed out on your local lottery, or don’t feel like paying the exorbitant prices on the secondary market, these four “baby” versions of the BTAC range will have to suffice.
W.L. Weller 12, 45% ABV, $46 CAD
- Nose: Really nice vanilla, oak, and brown sugar notes dominate. Also black cherry, some caramel, old leather, and a faint lemon and orange citrus thing in the background.
- Taste: Caramel, burnt sugar, cherries, cinnamon, slight honey and oak spiciness.
- Finish: Silky, with a medium length.
- Thoughts: A very well-rounded bourbon indeed! Really nice and sweet, easy drinking, and what bourbon should inspire to. Unfortunately the popularity of the Weller/Pappy/Van Winkle brand has taken this bottle off the shelves and into the lotteries and secondary market’s. Prices have sky-rocketed, topping $150 USD in some spots. Definitely not worth those kind of dollars, but for under $50 CAD there’s a lot of value here.
- Score: 85 + 3 value point(s) = 88/100
Eagle Rare 10, 45% ABV, $50 CAD
- Nose: Brown sugar, vanilla, subtle wood smoke, brunt bread crumbs, tangy oak.
- Taste: Vanilla, honey, flat cola, almonds, and a very faint sour orange.
- Finish: Medium, not overly complex.
- Thoughts: Really nice quality bourbon, definition of a daily drinker. However it’s a little thin on the finish, and tastes like it’s been watered down just a little too much. I feel if it was bottled at a higher ABV it would greatly improve. Still solid, and good value.
- Score: 83.5 + 1.5 value point(s) = 85/100
Sazerac Rye, 45% ABV, $50 CAD
- Nose: Warm apple cider, and cooked apples. Cinnamon, rye bread, rye spice, a light vanilla, and icing sugar.
- Taste: Carrot cake, over-ripe bananas, banana bread, rye bread, slight mint, bitter orange, black cherry, mild pepper, black licorice, cake icing, and roasted marshmallows.
- Finish: Creamy, mouth coating, medium/long finish.
- Thoughts: Wow, its been a while since Ive had this and I forgot how good it was! Really digging it! Well rounded, easy drinking and fairly complex.
- Score: 86 + 2.5 value point(s) = 88.5/100
Stagg Jr., 66.1% ABV, Batch 4, $55 USD
- Nose: Brown sugar, black cherry, cola, and a slight rye spice.
- Taste: Cinnamon, oak, cherry, old-style hard candies, and Hot Tamales.
- Finish: Bold and long, very very good.
- Thoughts: I had huge expectations for this as George T. Stagg is one of the best bourbons I’ve ever tasted, but I didn’t really like this when I first opened it. Obliviously it needed some time to open up, but I didn’t like it the next 10 or so times I tried it. It wasn’t until the fill level was past halfway that it started becoming the whisky I more or less expected. It’s a nice full and bold bourbon, I love the finish, but it’s nowhere close to its bigger brother.
- Score: 83 + 0 value point(s) = 83/100
All these whiskies are very good, and (excluding the Stagg) all great value for money. The Sazerac was very impressive, I loved the banana bread/carrot cake notes and the overall creamy sweetness. Weller 12 is quality top to bottom, and I’d drink Eagle Rare any day of the week. Stagg Jr. was really disappointing just because my expectations were so high, maybe ill try a different batch and see if it’s closer to the bourbon I fell in love with.
After my initial score I will add or subtract points based on how I perceive value (based on what I paid for the bottle). A zero value means I think the price is justified.