top of page

Stagg Jr Batch 5 Bourbon Flash Review - A Rare Sampling

Stagg Junior Batch 5 - 129.7 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

An oldie Stagg Jr batch? Where else would one get to sample such treasures other than in the 12 days of whiskey exchange that @bourbondipity_ hosts every year? The premise of the exchange is that 12 friends get together and each pull out one full bottle of something awesome to split up into sample jars. We then sip through them together, one each night, leading up to Christmas (a-la-advent calendar style). Big thank you to Dan at Liquor Junction for putting this one in!

I managed to save half of the sample from the holidays to broaden my Stagg Jr review repertoire for you, my dear reader. Many who know me know I'm a big Stagg fan in general. Every once in a while these Junior batches just don't live up though, so it's good to go in with a healthy bit of skepticism - something I always do when I sit down for a formal review.. Let's dive in and see what batch 5 is all about!


Company on Label: Buffalo Trace

Whiskey Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Mash Bill Percentages: Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #1 (Low Rye < 10%)

Proof: 129.7°

Age: NAS (~8 years)

Further identification: Batch 5 was put out as the Winter release of 2015 at an MSRP of around $60


Nose: Bright white linen leads the way on the nose before warming to aromas of nougat, brown sugar and spongy wood. Delicate florality is a welcome surprise for what is normally a dark, bold brooding bourbon. Black pepper comes across silky & light, carried by a flowing river of vanilla. Later in the glass the delicate florality blooms into vibrant white clover rushing in at the dawn of Spring. I really dig the balance between nougat, wood, and the more delicate ephemerality here. Returning the nose to the glass after a sip illustrates more light creaminess congruent with the flowing vanilla tones. Deep inhales reveal a brooding, beautiful butterscotch note that had been hiding from me up until the moment it flashed a smile across my face. The empty glass smells of spent coffee grounds, cacao, and old newspaper.

Palate: My first sip is quite delicate given the proof with classic bourbon cherry leading the charge. Another sip stacks in vanilla bean ice cream, strawberry hard candy, and old fashioned molasses taffy. A longer sip and swish adds plenty of caramel tones which continues to feel quite light and fluffy in the mouth. Notably missing is any level of spice, which is a roundabout way of saying that I enjoy the viscous mouthfeel this produces. Revisiting this glass after a long rest shows off simple sugary tones and just a hint of cinnamon spice creeping in. My last sip is a tasty medley of ripe cherry, red grape, and caramel sauce. The finish runs right down the middle of the tongue with vanilla and crème brûlée.

TL;DR: Classic, low-rye bourbon with a few juicy surprises along the way


Rating: 4/5

This is a solid batch. My favorite part of it is definitely the butterscotch surprise on the nose and the fluffy, viscous mouthfeel - classier than a lot of the spicier Stagg Junior batches. I'm not so crazy about it that I need to go out and procure a bottle, but I'm certainly glad to have enjoyed 2oz of it.

Stagg Junior Batch 5 Bourbon Sample Review


What Others Are Saying:

Whiskey in my Wedding Ring offers general disappointment with this batch (4.6/10), saying overall:

"A hot mess. Somehow oaky like a 20-year-old bourbon in something less than half that age, without enough flavor to back it up."

u/buckydean on Reddit sings praises as a fan of bold, spicy bourbons, rating it 8/10, and writing:

"This is like ECBP's evil twin. It is just massive in the same vein, you are not gonna pour a glass and then start to mindlessly sip on it and forget to taste it. It has a huge mouthfeel thanks to that ridiculous proof, but there's a lot more going on here than just burning and heat. It oozes character with villainous dark sweetness and tons of rich oaky notes, it tastes like it knows exactly what it wants to be and then accomplishes it really well."

t8ke from Whiskey Raiders rated it a 7/10 which put it in a tie with batch 4, noting:

Much less hot than the other batches, save for 4. Molasses and cherry all over the place. Its delicious, but a little different flavor profile than 4. More sweet maple and fruity rather than savory clove and pepper.
It's long. It's complex and it feels a lot like eating cake. It's sweet and well blended.
I think it's safe to say that there was significant improvement from Batches 1 all the way up to 5. This is good to see.


Thank you for still reading in a digital age. It means a lot to me that you are here, taking the time to learn about what you are sipping on. If you're interested in seeing more of my reviews, make sure to subscribe below!

bottom of page