George T. Stagg BTAC 2020 UK Release 65.2%

Nose: Raw and intense oak, vanilla and brown sugar. My daughter thinks it smells like peaches cooked in maple syrup. Technically she said stone fruits (proud papa moment) and then I asked her to elaborate. I always find Stagg has a note of dark cherries and this holds to the party line. Allspice and mint tobacco. They opened a shisha shop down the road and I often smell the flavored tobacco on the boardwalk. A base camphor note that approaches carob. Every time I smell this, I feel like it should come with a track record of cicadas.

Palate: Tonight this tastes wonderful. First off, it freaking burns. And I literally want to open my own bar called cask strength and most of my friends tease me that if it isn’t over 60% I might find it vapid. But dang 2020 is punchy tonight. The heat radiates mingling with the taste and it works. Intense madagascar vanilla. Cinnamon strudel. Slightly burnt buttermilk pancakes which had a heavy hand of baking soda. Cherries and more cherries. Cola concentrate. I like how well it coats my entire mouth without being goopy. The finish is herbal and even though I know the rye content is low, it plays its part.

Rating: 7 / 10 – GTS is without question the least subtle and most intense of the BTAC. As a woodophile, I can jive with it. I definitely prefer 2020 over 2019 & 2018.