I really like this bourbon, but I'm not sure whether it's excellent or "just" very good.
I first bought a bottle to bring on a trip with me to my stepdad's 70th birthday party. I had no idea what booze would be available at the destination, so on all such occasions I make sure I travel with something interesting. So I stopped by K&L and grabbed this off the shelf.
Well, when I tasted it on that trip, it was amazing. Awesome. Completely hit the spot and was a definite "A."
Returning to LA, I bought 3 more bottles. And tasting it here on subsequent occasions, I've found it to sometimes be too alcohol-y to rate in the "A" range, instead being a rather solid B+. Yet as I write this now, the glass is tasting to me like a solid A-.
A whisky's enjoyment is often influenced by mindset and setting (as are many other things), but this one seems especially prone to that. I think the especially high ABV means that sometimes it'll hit you just right, and sometimes it'll hit you too hard (although I don't really ever have that problem with Stagg being so high proof… but I digress).
Oh yeah, and this hits you like a ton of bricks. And it also makes you prone to writing excessively long, boring reviews.
Point being: A tasty, caramel-y and quite nutty bourbon that packs big punch. Not for novices. Very very tasty. B+/A-