Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Stagg Jr. Kentucky Straight Bourbon Batch No. 14

- $60
- 130.2 Proof
- Batch No. 14
- Kentucky

Stagg Jr. (and now just Stagg) seems to take up a lot of shelf space in my collection. It's just one of those bottles that remains reasonably priced, particularly given the proof, quality and consistency. And it's one of those bottles that is semi-allocated and I've had the fortune of being able to get my hands on them as they've come out, for the most part.

Among recent batches, though, there hasn't seemed to be a whole lot of variation. I've tried them side-by-side, and I've found it difficult to differentiate between the batches. In fact, the last one I finished I didn't even bother to write up because it just felt like I could simply refer to the last review I wrote. But, that felt lazy, so with this one I'm making it a point to write up my review, even if for my own sense of completeness.

The nose was fairly traditional to good, well-made bourbon, with healthy amounts of brown sugar and cinnamon. There was a light oak note that indicated a bit of age on the whiskey, and an undertone of vanilla as well. It also had a sweet, almost candy-like cherry note to it that smelled great.

As to flavor, right up front it had a tanginess to it that reminded me of amaretto liqueur.  That was accompanied by big hits of brown sugar and caramel, giving it a rich sweetness. If it weren't for the heat coming from the pour, I'd have classified it as a "dessert whiskey."

Those dessert notes seemed to really carry through, as I then got a strong cherry note, as well as notes of chocolate and cherry, making for a rich and sweet combination that was met with a counter-balancing oak note that seemed to temper that rich sweetness. 

The finish provided an additional cinnamon spice that I think was missing before. The oak and cherry notes came forward more on the finish as well, and that seemed to really round out the flavor into something very well-balanced and delicious.

I wish what I got from the finish I got throughout, but it was still delicious front to back. It just seemed to be a bit more balanced on the finish. But, I guess that's a good thing, considering that's what kept me going back for my next sip.

Grade: B+

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