Before I start my ramblulating, I’d like to thank /u/dros_guy for sending through this sample. My father is a huge fan of this one, and splitting it with him really made his day.
A while back, someone put up a question to everyone concerning Willet, and why people enjoy it so much when you don’t know what you’re cracking open.
And I really thought about that. I mean, really, why do we get excited for things we know aren’t always going to stay consistent? For Instance, I love going to the Toronto Zoo. Seriously, amazing, large place, and they have all these cool, exotic animals, and they have breeding programs to help endangered species… Just great. .
It’s so great in fact, that I proposed to my wife there outside the Siberian Tiger enclosures, and thus became more special whenever we visited that spot again.
And then they covered over that with Pandas. You know, Giant Pandas, well known for lumbering about, shitting, eating, and not fucking. Suffice to say, should I go back when a core memory is gone? And plastered over with a political animal thing that I’m not really a fan of, done by a government I don’t think should have done it?
No, because I go back, and there’s something new each time, done a little differently, and that’s life.
That leads us to another whisky that, each year, could potentially change, George T. Stagg 2013. We’ve all pined for, gushed over, or at least heard of the hype surrounding this particular part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. However there are rumors that this batch has changed, has differed from before, come from a different, less favourable part of the warehouse. Granted, versus the Willet, it is the same juice as before.
Has it changed like the zoo? Is this a sign of another bourbon having a different profile each time, even in slight ways, due to location and aging?
Price: For 2 minutes it was sold here… I can’t remember the price.
Colour: Corn gold
Nose: Caramel, soft butter, cloves, lime zest, cardamon, alcohol, bark, turnip
When I first nose this, giving it a good amount of time to air out, I’m reminded of the caramel and butter of the 2012, yet not as complex as the 2012. This is a different beast, though still has some complex smells going on.
I venture on, after letting it breathe some more, hoping that I’ve fluked out and found a dram that may have stayed consistent.
Taste: Caramel, carrot, lime, woody, pine, orange juice, burn, coconut
Gone are the sweeter notes from before, left are the vegetal and caramel notes, with coconut showing up. It’s smooth, and nice, however it reminds me more of a Canadian than a Bourbon.
Which makes sense: Coconut are the Pandas of Palm Family. Some people like them, and others just won’t go near anything that has them.
Finish: Orange, oak, dry pear, tons of burn
The finish isn’t bad… it’s just… well… the same as others. A bunch of burn, and some orange soaked wood.
Which, if you watched the secret on the grapefruit trick last week on /r/videos , you’ll have flashbacks of howler monkeys.
Conclusion: Change, inconsistency, and what not, is a personal decision as to if you like it or not. I personally have no problem with a dram being expensive and potentially not as good as the year before. It changes things up, it’s great because it is different and they try new things.
And we’ve gone back to the zoo. Sure, the Siberian Tiger’s are gone, but last time I played with an otter (not an innuendo) and saw a baby polar bear. The lack of tiger’s was sad, but I’ve never seen Giant Pandas, so that was new.
And the second dram of Willett or George T. Stagg wasn’t as good as the first, I’m still going back to it. Everything changes: It’s identifying that it was all still pretty good that makes everything still okay.
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