Updated: Nov 8, 2021
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 16 was released in Summer 2021 and is bottled at 130.9 proof which is middle of the road for Stagg Jr releases.
NOSE: As is with most of the recent Stagg Jr noses this one is fantastic. Rich and sweet scents of maple, caramel, clove, ripe cherries, and vanilla. For 130 proof this is smooth, rich, bold, and sweet (24/25)
PALATE: Unlike Batch 15, this whiskey starts with rich, dark, and sweet with flavors of cherry coke, vanilla, cracked pepper, cinnamon, and black cherry. Together they make up a flavor profile that hints at some time in the barrel. Batch 16 is also incredibly smooth with the oak, baking spice, and proof slowly building towards the back of the palate and leading into the finish. (38/40)
FINISH: The finish is long and enduring with the proof playing a role throughout. There are notes of oak sugars, pepper, cinnamon, and some more dark cherry. The finish goes on and on and the proof sits right in the chest making this for a full and enjoyable finish that can be savored for a while (23/25)
VALUE: Stagg Jr has a $60 SRP, 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 16 is a smashing hit! With George T. Stagg not being released this year I think a lot of people will be searching high and low for Stagg Jr Batch 16 and they won't be disappointed! This is a smash hit and we couldn't recommend it enough.
Similar & Slightly Better Whiskey: Old Forester 150th Anniversary Batch 2
Similar & Equal Whiskey: Woodford Reserve 2021 Batch Proof
Similar & Slightly Worse Whiskey: Stagg Jr. Batch 14
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