Price Point: $55 – $65 for 750 ML
Distiller: Buffalo Trace Distillery
Oh boy. This is an exciting day. I have the pleasure to review one of the more hyped bourbons in recent years. Stagg Jr. is a barrel proof bourbon, a little brother, if you will, of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection release George T. Stagg. Looking back at my review of the elder, the 2009 release clocked in at an astounding 141.4 proof. The little brother dials it back about 5% for an easy-drinking spirit – yeah right!
Nothing about the Stagg name implies easy-drinking. The label features enlarged antlers, the copper and black sticker tells you just how much alcohol you’ll be ingesting, and the color of the whiskey itself is an intimidating dark amber (the backside’s dark label doesn’t make it look any lighter). This is not a whiskey that you end the night with, but rather one that you sip slowly and delicately, and maybe add a little water to dilute.
There’s great color on this barrel-proofer. The nose is strong and sweet, living up to the Stagg name. There’s corn and sugar cane sweetness, followed by deep charred oak. I’m not going to lie – this one’s a little intimidating as its vapors travel to my nostrils.
In the mouth, Stagg Jr. is yet again heavy on corn sweetness, without much rye influence. There is perhaps some wheat, maple syrup, and caramel. This whiskey drinks hot, for sure. Stagg Jr.’s taste rounds out with some pint/mint and bubblegum. There’s a happening on the palate with this bourbon.
The finish is long and complex. It seems to coat your mouth like the inside of a charred barrel. On the very tail-end, there is a minty aftertaste.
Rating & Recommendations
Stagg Jr. earns high praise from me, with a rating of 90 out of 100.
This is a tasty bourbon, but I would expect nothing less from Buffalo Trace Distillery, especially with the legendary Stagg name attached.