64.75% ABV, 129.5 Proof, Barrel Proof, Unfiltered
Stagg Jr. is one of those whiskeys you see hardcore bourbon fans lusting after, posting their stash to Instagram whiskey blogs (like this one), and paying high dollar for a two ounce pour off the top shelf at a fancy whiskey bar. Jr. may be the offspring of a legendary father, from the legendary Buffalo Trace distillery, but he’s got his own dedicated fan base. When I spotted a couple of bottles hidden behind the counter at a local liquor store, I was happy as a bug to finally get some to taste myself. I wasn’t disappointed, the first sip out of the bottle actually made me say, “Wow!” This isn’t your grandpa’s bourbon whiskey, this is something different.
A reddish, rusty honey with super long and seductive legs.
Moderate heat, surprising for such a high barrel proof, followed by cherry cough drops and candy Red Hots.
More of that sweet cherry that taunts you from the nose, hot cinnamon, and a touch of oak. Again, less alcohol heat than I expected for almost 130 proof. Followed by a long and pleasantly mellow lingering finish. After a couple of sips, my lips were numb—as if I’d been caught kissing the captain of the cheerleaders too long under the bleachers at a high school football game. Once a bit of water was added, it opened up to offer citrus and more woody scents. The taste becomes bright, peppy and electric. A mellow complexity, revealing caramel, and crème brûlée to go with the cherry candy colored dreamboat. I can definitely see why this whiskey is considered a baby unicorn by many. A little goes a long way, and the finish can keep you entertained all night.