Stagg is named after George T. Stagg, the man who build the most dominant American distillery of the 19th century. That distillery is known as Buffalo Trace Distillery today, where Stagg is made. Stagg is always uncut & unfiltered, making every sip bold and powerful, just like the man himself.
Stagg Jr Bourbon is made in small batches (but no details are given as to how many barrels go into a batch) and released twice-a-year, with each batch exhibiting its own unique characteristics. With that said, this Stagg Jr review covers batch 10, the most recent batch as of this posting, released in spring 2018.
There are so many complex and interesting smells packed into Stagg Jr batch 10, all tied together with alcohol. In my first round of sniffing, I can immediately tell that this is incredibly rich and woody. There’s a lot of caramel and vanilla, as well as moderate amounts of fuji apple sprinkled with cinnamon and allspice. As I keep searching, I also find light notes of citrus, apricot, and peppermint.
Swirling it releases even more treasures. Now there are moderate to strong amounts of maple syrup and honey. It’s so rich that it smells thick and sticky. There’s also moderate roasted wood and vanilla, as well as a light amount of bubblegum. After a few sips, Stagg Jr becomes more floral and grassy, and strangely has hints of buttered popcorn.
Musty wood and peanut brittle also appear. The whole time, I was expecting to be overwhelmed with alcohol, but it never happened. There are so many other potent smells that the alcohol, while moderately strong, is actually balanced.
When the glass is empty and the alcohol subsides, I can smell light to moderate amounts of pumpernickel bread, musty wood, and dried corn that reminds me of tortilla chips. There’s also a light sweet, citrus, and herbal note that equates to sweet tea.
After 10 minutes, I start to smell musty raisins. This just smells incredible. I didn’t even have to water it down to find a chest full of different scents. It’s everything you could want from a bourbon. I could almost sit here all day and just smell it.
Holy moly Stagg Jr is intense! On my quick initial taste, there are so many flavors that I can barely process it. At first, I taste a lot of caramel, corn, peppermint gum, and pumpernickel bread, as the alcohol stampedes freely all over my mouth.
Now that I’m better prepared for the more in-depth second sip, I can taste the flavor explosion. There’s moderate to strong lemon, peach, and caramel, followed by deeply charred wood, cinnamon, and nuts.
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