It's the last Stagg Jr batch! Everyone panic! It's true, but no need for screams and tears. When batch 18 releases, there will be no more 'Junior' in the name but the whiskey will keep on flowing. The batch numbers don't really mean anything to me, other than reminding me which releases I liked the most - like batch 12 and 14. Every time I see a bottle on a shelf, I usually pull up the batches by proof list so I can make sure I'm getting something I know I want. I'm going to keep the notes brief on this one as this is a fresh crack, but I wanted to get some thoughts in front of folks as this starts to release. I was lucky one of my local stores I have helped out and built a longstanding relationship with was able to get just ONE bottle from the distributor. It does not appear that batch 17 is arriving in large numbers in MA (at least yet). Now time to get into it!
Company on Label: Buffalo Trace
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #1 (Low Rye < 10%)
Age: NAS (~8 years)
Further identification: Batch 17 (Winter 2021)
Review: Wow. The nose is incredible rich and decadent with aromas that remind me of the intense amazement I get when I smell the 2020 George T. Stagg release. There is amazing sweetness I could smell from several feet away even on a cold outdoor porch. This definitely has the robust cherry, vanilla, brown sugar and rich caramel molasses cookies that I loved on batch 14, with maybe some of the cinnamon spice turned down on the nose somewhat. This smells certainly on the older side, with troves of burly oak, tobacco and leather. Holy mouth coating... This has a sweet cherry introduction with a minty plum linger that shows absolutely zero evidence of its proof even on a first sip of the day. A subsequent sip reveals more intensity and a raspberry jam. I can't believe how fruit forward this batch is. It comes off slightly tannic but has a lovely chest hug with infinite depth. I won't venture a score but this might be up there with one of my top batches! The mint notes are a little surprising for Stagg Jr, but overall I can tell this is going to have some nice complexity when I give it a chance to open up a bit longer. For now I'm just going to enjoy the rest of my glass! Cheers.