65% ABV - Kentucky, United States
Nose: Cinnamon dusted cherries sitting in a musty cedar box. Oh, and watch out, there can be quite a lot of heat, but it fades with time.
Taste: An absolute avalanche of flavour. Lots of wood-forward flavours with that cherry sweetness and background notes of lemon-citrus, leather, caramel, and vanilla.
Finish: Finishing with oak and sweetness, lingering cigar ash and burnt cherrywood. It lasts long with wood tannins slowly drying your mouth.
My first taste of Stagg Jr. was at the Victoria Bar in Portland, Oregon roughly four years ago. Knowing what I know now about its rarity, I can’t believe that I was able to walk into a store the next day and pick one off the shelf—for $70 (CDN)! Since then I’ve done my best to find a bottle per year but the cost is over 50% more to get it in Canada at retail shops (and it is still worth it, in my opinion.)
I haven’t found a whiskey quite like Stagg Jr… okay, yes, George T. Stagg has some remarkably similar characteristics. However, to find the cherry notes and at this bottling strength? Not easy. I think that Eagle Rare is similar enough, but at only 45% ABV it doesn’t have the same kick to it. I have asked for some replacement recommendations and 1792 Full Proof and Old Ezra 7-Year have been suggested. It would be a best-case scenario if I started to equally like a more available whiskey, so I could transition off this hard-to-get bourbon. Until then I am happy to hunt for it!
Tasted 18 October 2021. (Posted 07 November 2021.)
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