Playing a little catch up for Day 8 and 9 of the #12DaysofWhiskeyExchange that @bourbondipity_ put together. This pour was added courtesy of Travis Scafuri for Day 8. Stagg Jr is one of those things I can't leave on the shelf if it's a decent price... I have previously done a brief flash review of this batch, but I'll try to go a little more in depth with this one tonight. I wonder how much it will differ - it's been a while! Let's find out.
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 15 (Winter 2020)
Nose: Oh my goodness. There's such a heavy leather on the first nosing. This is followed up with a heavy cloth and sandalwood incense aroma that reminds me a lot of George T. This is way more complex on the nose than I recollect. Honey sweetness with a fig jam/marmalade hefty fruit preserves explodes out of this glass. Quite smoky on deeper pulls. Now the glass is mellowing I recall some of the strawberry cereal I experienced the last time I tried this. It's funkier and heavily tied to a rich caramel undertone that pokes through the bedsheet that passes over this glass from time to time. Wow this nose really comes off soft now - like a marshmallow without the synthetic, sugary vanilla aspects. Wow - holy cilantro! On a deep left nostril inhale I got a very clear cilantro and cumin experience that felt a lot like some flavorful taco seasonings. On the right nostril I get more of the fruit, oak and molasses. This is a thoroughly rich and complex nosing experience. After a sip things turn more bright and linen-forward. Oak is far more prevalent but it is layered in well. More hints of the taco spices and a smoky cast iron wood stove make this glass feel like it's close to home for me. The empty glass smells of ash, cast iron, citrus oak, and soft vanilla.
Palate: My first sip is incredibly as thorough as the nose; it starts out with rich leather, pulsating into a caramel wave and resting down into a strawberry base. Cinnamon spice kicks up well but doesn't punish the palate. Hefty, creamy, refined caramel is quite impressive to experience. Smokey in flashes at times, this glass is full of surprises. The linger is long with baking spices and hints of forbidden florals. The flavors on this are rather obscure, but incredibly enjoyable. It doesn't quite remind me of anything that exists, which is really fun. There's just a touch of clove I experience on some of the finish experiences. My last sip is incredibly rich with a big wave of caramel, white pepper, butterscotch and just a hint of cardamom.
Complex and lovely. I like this way more than I remember. It's close to a 5 for me for sure.