In my opinion, this Bourbon has the worst name in the industry. There is nothing “Junior” about this whiskey. It is a fully matured Bourbon, bottled at barrel strength and unfiltered. They should have simply named it Old Stagg and left it at that. Now, the first impression from the name is some young and inferior whiskey in the bottle. If you can’t get real Stagg, then you have to settle for “Stagg, Jr.”
Stagg, Jr. is not a junior league Bourbon. There is no age statement on the bottle, and it is bottled by taste profile so there may be four-year-old Bourbon in the bottle, but there is also some five, six years or even older Bourbon in the bottle. It is non-chill filtered without any flavor removed because of filtration. There is nothing about this Bourbon that is inferior to that other version of Stagg.
Stagg, Jr. Straight Bourbon
Age: No Age Statement
Nose: Lots of caramel upfront with some fruity notes of berries – blackberry, raspberry and maybe even a little blueberry, some floral white pepper and oak.
Taste: Leather, tobacco and oak immediately, with some vanilla and pepper spice in the background. When tasted with a dried cranberry some citrus notes of orange zest and lemon come out. When tasted with a pecan, the tannins of the pecan combine with the tannins of the oak to make it very dry and woody.
Finish: Long and dry with lots of oak and pepper spice. The dried cranberry shortened the finish and reduced the pepper spice dramatically. The pecan made the finish very long and dominated by the oak tannins with just a hint of black pepper spice.
I am pairing this full-bodied Bourbon with a My Father #3 Crema cigar. I find the smoke to be rich in tobacco with some vanilla and dried fruit sweetness. I find the Bourbon brings out more vanilla and maybe a hint of mocha in the smoke. The smoke gives the Bourbon a thicker mouthfeel with more pepper spice, but also some fruit notes of cherries and berries. I think that I like this Bourbon best with this cigar.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller