Score: 84 points
This is the little brother to the legendary George T. Stagg Bourbon from Buffalo Trace, and it shares many of the same characteristics as its uncut and unfiltered big brother. Batch #1 came from casks that were 8 and 9 years old when they were bottled, and the nose has a good resemblance to the Staggs. There are notes of caramel, honey, and vanilla, but like the Stagg, the punch is hidden behind those sweet notes.
Taste it, and Stagg Jr. packs almost the same knockout punch as its big brother, though. There’s a thick, intense mouthfeel with overwhelming cinnamon and fresh-ground black pepper at first, but notes of honey, caramel, vanilla, and a hint of pipe tobacco come out as the blast fades away. Those more subtle notes last through the finish, which is shorter and more disappointing than the long Stagg finishes. The finish dries out your mouth and makes you want another dram, though. (July, 2013)