Review: Stagg Jr. (2015 Release)

Category: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Origin: Buffalo Trace Distillery

Bottling: Official

ABV: 66.05%

Cost: £74.95 from Master of Malt

Score: 89/100


What they say:

George T. Stagg built the most dominant American distillery of the 19th century, during a time known as the Gilded Age of Bourbon. Uncut and unfiltered, this robust bourbon whiskey ages for nearly a decade and boasts the bold character that is reminiscent of the man himself.


Rich, sweet, chocolate and brown sugar flavors mingle in perfect balance with the bold rye spiciness. The boundless finish lingers with hints of cherries, cloves and smokiness.

What I say:

Third in Drew Mayville’s masterclass is the highly sought after Stagg Jr. – this turned out to be my absolute clear favourite of the expressions sampled despite being nowhere near the oldest or most expensive! Seemingly aged for around 10 years and despite reports of using W.L.Weller to make a vatting equivalent of the much-famed Pappy Van Winkle (or poor man’s pappy as it has come to be known) – apparently what they sell to PVW is exactly what goes into Stagg Jr.! They only have a limited number of mashbills and operating procedures after all…


Ruby ochre copper (13/20), medium droplet tears leave fine legs


Antique oak wood furniture, red fruits, plums and cherries, maple syrup, toffee, ‘beer’ malty and a little yeasty, pine wood, woody and caramelised sugars, cereal grains, vanilla, coconut, treacle toffee, maraschino cherries


Chilli-spiced treacle toffee, red fruits, plums, cherries with spices, cinnamon, eucalyptus, menthol, medicated cherry cough drops, toffee, caramel and fudge, charred oak wood.


Long, black cherries, highland toffee, vanilla crème brulee


Lovely rich and darkly fruity, medium-bodied and well oaked like a good red wine, dark sugars and a touch medicated/herbal – simply delicious!