Distillery: Buffalo Trace
Age: NAS (7-9 Years)
Mashbill: Undisclosed (Buffalo Trace bourbon mash #1, rumored to be ~10% rye)
BACKGROUND: Stagg Jr is one of the highly sought after bourbons from Buffalo Trace distillery. Stagg Jr is released multiple times a year in highly limited batches. These bottles are highly sought after and tend to fetch incredibly high values on the secondary market. Stagg Jr is the younger brother to George T. Stagg which is apart of the annual Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC). George T. Stagg is a legend in the American whiskey history. Buffalo Trace started as Old Fire Copper (OFC) Distillery by Edmund H. (EH) Taylor before being sold to George T Stagg in 1878. In 1999, George T Stagg distillery changed their name to Buffalo Trace distillery in reference to to an ancient buffalo crossing on the banks of the Kentucky River in Franklin County, Kentucky. Now Stagg Jr needs no introduction or continued hype but it was brought to market in 2013 and batch 1 was deemed a failure and a miss by most reviewers as it was too bold and too brash and was not the more widely available George T Stagg. Since then, Buffalo Trace has released 13 additional batches and each have been significantly better than the first. Stagg Jr is known for having distinct cherry notes and being bottled at a high proof. Batch 14 was released in Summer 2020 and is bottled at 130.2 proof which is middle of the road for Stagg Jr releases.
NOSE: Floral notes of rose water and hibiscus dance over the proof tempting you to dive in hiding the proof. Once adjusted, rich and thick scents of roasted pecans, brown sugar, and maple. There are also deep oak notes, barrel char, and leather adding an element of age, richness, and boldness. Overall this is a delicious nose that has rich and bold scents that are balanced and deep without ever burning. (23/25)
PALATE: Rich and pure flavors of stone fruits (a type of fruit with a hard pit) like plum and cherry, thick and chewy vanilla and oak, and a slight rye spice playing around at the back of the palate. The proof is hidden by the delicious flavors but the proof gives this a chewy, syrupy, thick mouthfeel. This is an absolutely delicious bourbon that drinks more like a 12-15 year old whiskey. (38/40)
FINISH: The proof bears its' teeth in the finish with a slight bite along with sweeter notes of orange zest, oak sugars, maple, and some bitter and dry cacao notes. It is very long but never burns and leaves you craving another sip. (23/25)
VALUE: Stagg Jr has a $60 SRP as of 2020, however, on the secondary market it commonly goes for north of $200. We would pay up to $100. (9/10)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Stagg Jr Batch 14 is a smash hit for Buffalo Trace. The sweet, rich, and mature flavor profile is right up our alley. We strongly recommend this to anyone and everyone who like whiskey, especially at cask strength. If you get the chance to buy this near SRP, don't hesitate! Can't wait to see how this compares to Batch 15 and George T Stagg Sr in a future comparison video.
Similar & Slightly Better Whiskey: Woodford Reserve 2021 Batch Proof
Similar & Equal Whiskey: Smoke Wagon Uncut & Unfiltered Batch 23
Similar & Slightly Worse Whiskey: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof A121
Tell us what you think and give us some feedback!
96-100: The perfect dram, juice of the gods
90-95: Near perfect, truly incredible whiskey
85-89: Amazing whiskey, will always try to keep a backup bottle of this
80-84: Very good, some minor flaws here or there
75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink, Will try and keep a bottle on the shelf
70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get this
60-69: Decent, would offer this up to non whiskey drinkers
50-59: Not my cup of tea
Below 50: Give away