Interesting review. I don't go out of my way to purchase Stagg and still have several old bottles, so I have never reviewed this year's bottling. It is an excellent product but fairly similar every year. I would love to see a Stagg come out that was at about 110 proof after 15 years of age. That would be exciting.
I agree with you about Blantons. I have had excellent Blantons, but only when tasting at a Whisky Magazine tasting. They pick superior barrels to send to such tastings so don't look for it in the store. Mere consumers are not allowed to have such barrels and that is why I have never purchased a bottle of Blantons and doubt I ever will. Unless I think they are making their reputation with the same whiskey I can purchase in the store, then I will not support the brand.
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873