Stagg Jr. Batch 15

Well, well, well.  This one snuck in!  Maine didn’t receive an allocation for Stagg Jr. Batch 14 in 2020, and when George T. Stagg’s progeny finally arrived into the frigid north it came bearing a different label than expected.  As it turns out Maine was among the first to receive the latest (and potentially greatest?) batch of Stagg Jr. to close out 2020.  That works for me!  Let’s have a look…

Author

John H.

CATEGORY

Review

POSTED ON

December 9th, 2020

SOCIAL

TheBourbonFinder

It’s no secret that the past few batches of Stagg Jr. have exploded in popularity.  At the initial release of Stagg Jr. Batch 12 it sat on shelves here and I was able to buy multiple cases.  Yes, that’s right, cases.  I’m a sicko, alright?  Moving on…

Batch 14 was set to release during the global pandemic and for understandable–and likely uncontrollable–reasons it just never quite made it to Maine.  I have reached out to Buffalo Trace Distillery and to Maine’s liquor control agency to see if there is any more information to be gleaned.  I will report back with an update if any information turns up as to why Maine missed Batch 14 entirely, and seems to have been among the first to see Batch 15.  For now, let’s take a look at what Buffalo Trace Distillery has to say about this product on their website:

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.

-Buffalo Trace Distillery

Alright it’s time for a pour of this fresh release!

Tasting Notes…

Nose – Strong and bold.  Right away there’s a prominent showing of oak and vanilla.  A touch of that dusty warehouse comes through, and then it rolls into a creamy nougat and caramel.  I catch just a twist of apple on the nose but it’s between waves of spice and dark candy.

Taste – There’s a noticeable throttle twist of heat that wakes up your senses quick, but as it fades it leaves a really satisfying coating of toffee and caramel on the palate.  The darker flavors really play a big role here.  Oak and spice play off caramel and a seriously enjoyable butter toffee that I’ve not experienced in the seven or so batches of Stagg Jr. I’ve tried.

Finish – A long warm Kentucky hug hangs onto most of your body here.  While there’s plenty of heat to feel, the flavors are more toward the medium side of long (think 20ish seconds).  The warehouse funkiness and light touch of apple come back around here then work with a dark chocolate caramel candy finish that you think is going to be the last thing you taste until some baking spice comes back in at the very end.

Bourbon Finder Grade: B+

Final thoughts…

Well this certainly delivers in a way that few things can.  The unfiltered and raw strength of George T. Stagg is renowned for delivering plenty of flavor and a long finish and in that regard, Stagg Jr. Batch 15 doesn’t disappoint.  Where previous batches like Batch 12 and Batch 13 carried with them a lot of fruit and waves of sweet vanilla, this one hangs it hat on darker flavors and spice.  It’s a nice change of pace.  I’ll be looking forward to comparing Batch 15 side-by-side with the beloved Batch 12 to see which profile stands out more for me.

Our grading system: As mentioned in our About Us page, we’re excited to share bourbon with our friends, family, and readers. There are enough critics, cynics, and curmudgeons in the whiskey world as it is, so our goal is to foster the bourbon community in a positive way by bringing fun and entertaining content whenever possible–as such–we decided that applying precise scores to whiskey was simply too serious for us (and didn’t accurately showcase variability in taste from day to day). We use a simple grade school system to apply a grade to the whiskeys we review because we feel it is indicative of the whiskey’s grade for us on that particular day. A grade of a “B” today may very well be a “B+” or even a “B-” on another day, so rather than focusing on a precise score today that may not stand the test of time, we are just sharing our overall grade of that pour for that one tasting. Pour a bit and enjoy, friends, these are the good old days of whiskey!

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