I am extremely new to this, so take it easy on me. I intend to come back to most of these, multiple times and re-review them, to see if my tastes have changed, or if certain batches are better than others. Each review will follow the same template, and include a score. Please enjoy responsibly 🙂
Last night was -50 with the windchill. I was home alone with the kids (the wife was out curling). After the kids were in bed, I decided I
wanted needed something with some heat behind it – so I decided to finally bust open the bottle of Stagg Jr, which I got in November. This is one powerful bourbon(to say the least) coming in at a whopping 126.4 proof.
Date Reviewed: Jan.30
Atmosphere: in a Glencairn glass, neat @ home. The temperature outside is -50 with the windchill.
Distillery: Buffalo Trace
Mash: Speculated to be 75% corn, 10% rye, 15% barley
Age: 8-9 years
ABV%: 63.2% (yes, seriously!)
Price I Paid: $85.00*
*This was at a limited release, only a few bottles available. I grabbed 2.
Appearance: Pretty standard – reminded me of toffee/caramel
Nose: When the bottle was first opened – I immediately smell 2 things:- Spices & Alcohol – that said, for a 63.2% bourbon, the alcohol smell isn’t as strong as I expect. I swirl it around, and one smell keeps coming back to me – EGGNOG. As I sip on it for the next 45 minutes, that Christmas time, Demerra Dark Rhum & Eggnog smell keeps coming back.
Palate: I take the first sip neat – after letting it sit for about 10-15 minutes. My mouth feels like it is going to explode. The INTENSE booziness overtakes every other taste and feeling in my body – and my tongue is on fire. This is my first 60%+ I’ve ever had, and I feel like once I am a little more experienced, I will come back to this one on it’s own – but for now, I need to add a few drops of water.
I add about a third of a teaspoon of water, swirl it around & take another sip. This time, some flavor start poking through – I feel some rye spiciness on my tongue. Instead of burning now, It feels like different spices are dancing all over my tongue. Some of the oak comes through as well. I don’t pick up on much other than spices and wood. A small hint of brown sugar.
Finish: The finish is weird. My tongue feels everything – but once it hits the back of my throat and goes down, there is no burn. Everything happens on the tongue. The finish lasts just long enough (less than I expected for such a heavy bourbon). Even though the tongue is still dancing/burning, I want to take another sip. I ended up sipping on this 1 glass for almost a full hour, taking my time, and trying to get to know it better. I’ve heard these get much better over time – and I expect as I get more experienced I’ll appreciate it a lot more.
Conclusions: He may be called jr., but this lil guy packs a HUGE punch. The first sip (neat) was probably wasted on my inexperienced palate, and if I am being honest, I just couldn’t enjoy it neat – but once it opened up with some water I was able to appreciate it a lot more. This is definitely one I will come back to a few more times over the next couple years. Aside from the smell of eggnog, what stood out the most – was how much heat there was on my tongue, and how little heat there was going down my throat. I’ve also never had my tongue feel this way before, painful almost at first, but slowly morphed into a sequence of flavors dancing all around my mouth. I bet this would really shine in boozy Manhattan as well.
Overall Score: 80/100*
*First time trying anything this high proof.