If you’re a bourbon fan, you’ve no doubt heard of the Buffalo Trace distillery, and in particular, the Antique Collection. Released once a year, these are whiskies that are extremely hard to find, probably because in some cases they never actually hit the shelves. While you definitely want to add these offerings to a bourbon bucket list, you shouldn’t be discouraged because of the many other fantastic (and obtainable) offerings out there. Stagg Jr is one of those bourbons.
Stagg Jr: A Whiskey That Mirrors the Man
George T. Stagg founded founded the distillery now known as the Buffalo Trace Distillery.
Before we get to talking about the whiskey, let’s talk about George T. Stagg himself. George T. Stagg is, quite simply, a whiskey legend. In the 19th century, he built a distillery that became one of the dominant forces in the business. Today, it survives as the Buffalo Trace Distillery, which boasts an amazing lineup of some of the best bourbons on the market – which is true whether you’re talking about their regular selection or the highly sought after you’re-lucky-to-get-your-hands-on-a-bottle Antique Collection. So it’s not surprising that some of Buffalo Trace’s finest offerings bear his name.
Flavor Profile & Tasting Notes
At a very high proof, Stagg Jr is maybe not for the bourbon novice. However, it’s one that is one of the best introductions to the world of barrel proof/cask strength whiskies once you’re ready to take the plunge. (Check out our guide on whiskey terms you need to know.) Stagg Jr displays an extremely dense flavor, which overwhelms the palate with many different notes. We tasted brown sugar, chocolate, “tobacco store” (leather, pipe tobacco), and a hint of vanilla. Bourbons with this depth of flavor linger for a good amount of time and reveal different qualities after the initial sip.
Obviously, we’re sharing whiskies that we truly enjoy, so it’s unlikely that you’ll see us giving something a thumbs down. However, we won’t always rave about the whiskies we try either. Stagg Jr is an exception and one we are very much in love with. Couple that with the fact that it’s a very high quality Buffalo Trace product that’s actually obtainable – unlike the Antique Collection – and in that it falls in the $50 price range and you’re talking about a super buy. If you see it on the shelf, get it. Period.
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He Spoke Style