Stagg Jr. was the highly anticipated younger version of Buffalo Trace’s power bourbon George T. Stagg. Its age is still above average though, and they share the same recipe and strength, so ‘Junior’ may have an adverse effect of making it seem more approachable.
This American bourbon has no age statement, although the label says it was aged for nearly a decade. We’ve heard it’s slightly over 8 years old. Contrary to the yearly senior version, Stagg Jr. will have three to four batches a year.
Stagg Jr. (67,2%, OB 2013, first batch)
Nose: I believe my nostrils are gone. A very fierce ethanol kick and wood burn. After some settling down and water, indeed similar to a senior George T. Stagg. Very rich, with lots of dry, oaky notes and rye spices like pepper and clove. Wood varnish. Toffee and honey sweetness as well. Chocolate. A lot of vanilla notes as well, if you let it breathe.
Mouth: a nice combination of honey and bags of mint. Then some cinnamon bark and really dry wood. Quite hefty, alcoholic, sweet and tannic. A few drops of water make it slightly citrusy but the powdery dryness becomes even louder – I find it difficult to get a good balance with drinkability.
Finish: long, dry with burnt notes and vanilla.
Rather good, but it goes downhill. The nose is pretty rich, but the palate is a harsh oak infusion with a surprising thinness if you think away the alcohol. Around $ 50 in the US, or around € 90 if you find a bottle on this side of the ocean.