Monday, June 12, 2023

Stagg Jr. Kentucky Straight Bourbon - Batch No. 16


- $60
- 130.9 Proof
- Batch No. 16
- Kentucky

Over the past few years I've managed to accumulate a pretty nice lineup of Stagg Jr. and what is now just Stagg.  Between the regular releases and store picks, I ended up with seven different bottles without even realizing it. I guess it's the burden of a bourbon collector, but certainly a good burden to have.

So, realizing this backlog of Stagg on my shelf, it was certainly time to start opening and drinking them. They are doing me no good just sitting there on the shelf. The question then became, do I try them one at a time, or open a bunch and compare? Perhaps after this one I'll go the latter route, but for now I just opened up this Batch 16 bottle and enjoyed it pour after pour. 

The nose gave off everything I've come to love about Stagg, a certain consistency with all of their releases. Right up front I got rich, dark chocolate along with a dark cherry note. But, it wasn't that artificial cherry that I get in some other bourbons. It was just rich and spicy dark cherry, like the kind baked into a pie. I also got sweet notes of toffee as well as a cloves spice that really had my mouth watering.

I did find this release to be more cherry-forward in flavor than other releases.  I guess that should have come as no surprise given how prominent that note was on the nose. There was a dark chocolate note that accompanied it, along with a vanilla note. All together it gave of a cherry cordial note that was sweet and rich and decadent.

To further that cherry cordial note, there as a bit of an amaretto note as well, to add just a touch of booziness as well as a light tanginess to it.  Unfortunately, though, I didn't get that great cloves note I was getting on the nose. Stagg has always had a certain spiciness to it that has always put it right in my wheelhouse, and from the nose I thought this going to give me that. But, that is the only area where this one fell flat.

Even on the nose there wasn't that lingering cinnamon or cloves spice I was hoping for. Rather, as the cherry notes faded, I was left with a chocolate and amaretto flavor coating my mouth. Don't get me wrong, it was absolutely delicious, but I really did want that spice, particularly on the back end.

Now that this bottle is done, I can only wonder what the hell I was waiting for on these. I think tonight I've got myself an easy choice for my first pour.

Grade: B+

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