The bourbon fan who can’t obtain a coveted bottle of George Stagg might have an easier time finding Stagg Jr. The whiskey distilled by Buffalo Trace Distillery is eight years old and presented, like its father, uncut and unfiltered. The two whiskies share the same mash bill as well. The 13th release of Stagg Jr. (how time has passed!) arrives at a hearty 128.4 proof.
I can’t believe it’s been seven years since this brand came to market. Tasting a few batches since the beginning, they’ve come a long way from the overly hot first release. How does this one fare?
The nose is inviting, offering hints of dark fruit (think chocolate covered cherries), oak spice, and toffee. It clearly shares DNA with its BTAC brethren. The palate is quite drinkable neat, though a splash of water doesn’t hurt. It features hints of dark caramel, cinnamon bark, and a splash of fruit sweetness and tanginess. The finish is long, as expected with a barrel proof bourbon, with lingering hints of spiced dark caramel and sweet oak.
Buffalo Trace Distillery should be commended for this release. In my humble opinion, they’ve managed to really hone the George Stagg DNA into a whiskey half its age. Sure, it’s nowhere near as dark and brooding as the BTAC version, but it carries those darker caramels and cinnamon spice well. For an eight year old barrel proof bourbon priced at about $50, you can’t go wrong.
Thanks to Buffalo Trace Distillery for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.