Buffalo Trace Releases 2022 Antique Collection – Stagg Is Back

by Jim Casey
photo courtesy Buffalo Trace

The Stagg is baaaack. Buffalo Trace Distillery announced the release of its 2022 Antique Collection. Introduced more than two decades ago, the Antique Collection is comprised of five whiskeys released each year in the fall: George T. Stagg Bourbon, William Larue Weller Bourbon, Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye Whiskey, Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old Bourbon, and Sazerac Rye 18-Year-Old Whiskey.

Last year, Buffalo Trace opted not to release its George T. Stagg Bourbon because the expression did not meet the Distillery’s standards for the Stagg brand. Of course, this caused a mini-whiskey uproar, as Stagg is arguably the most popular whiskey in the Antique Collection. However, the 2022 George T. Stagg is back with a bang at 138.7 proof.

The Buffalo Trace Antique Collection is sold separately and available once a year. Bottles will be available at retail starting early to mid-November. Suggested retail price is $99 for each bottle in the collection. Of course, you’ll need some good luck when “Antique” shopping. The bottles are routinely snatched up and sold for hundreds above MSRP on the secondary market.

Additionally, check out Buffalo Trace’s details on each expression in the collection.

George T. Stagg Bourbon

This year’s offering was distilled in the spring of 2007, making it 15 years and 5 months old at bottling. The proof is 138.7, the highest proof for this whiskey in the past six years. In addition, tasting notes for this bourbon call out toasted pecan and chocolate sauce on the nose, a rich blend of baking spice, vanilla and cherry pie on the palate, and a robust finish of black coffee, molasses, and oak. 

William Larue Weller Bourbon

The 2022 release was distilled in the spring of 2010. This bourbon registers at 124.7 proof. A nose of toasted coconut, butterscotch and caramel, followed by a touch of mint, dark cherry, and molasses on the palate and a full-bodied finish with hints of leather, nutmeg, toffee, and vanilla can be found in this year’s offering.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye Whiskey

This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2016 and weighs in at 130.9 proof, the highest proof for this whiskey since 2012. The flavor profile includes a nose with floral notes, anise, marmalade and meringue, followed by a palate with baking spice, a burst of orange peel, and subtle dark chocolate, and a long finish of cinnamon, praline, and candied orange.  

Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old Bourbon

This 101-proof whiskey was distilled in the spring of 2005. This bourbon has a nose with a hint of tobacco, chocolate covered cherries and a touch of oak, followed by caramel, vanilla bean, dark chocolate and oak on the palate and a full-bodied finish with baking spice, vanilla and butterscotch.   

Sazerac Rye 18-Year-Old Whiskey

This 2022 straight rye whiskey release has a nose of orange peel, lemon zest’ and molasses, a palate with a bold blend of black pepper, coriander seeds and maple syrup, and a well-rounded finish with mint, tobacco leaf and oak. The barrels for this whiskey were filled in the spring of 2003 and 2004. In addition, it is bottled at 90 proof.