Stagg Jr Batch 15 Blind Tasting

I got lucky and snagged the latest Stagg Jr today and after chatting with a friend who contended that he didn’t think Stagg Jr was worth it at secondary and potentially not a retail. I decided to knock out a quick blind tasting to see what I thought and then sat down to write the more detailed tasting notes.


Smoke Wagon Uncut Unfiltered Batch 49

Age: NAS

Proof: 113.8


Nose: Rich and sweet with brown sugar and oak backed by subtle spice and vanilla.

Taste: Well balanced with sweet brown sugar, rye spice and subtler oak. Just a hint of grain. Great mouthfeel and proof integration

Finish: Medium to long warm finish with rye spice, slightly dry oak and a decent amount of sweet vanilla and brown sugar.

3 Stars - Excellent whiskey: I would be willing to hunt down a bottle

Russell’s Reserve 13 Year

Age: 13

Proof: 114.8


Nose: Vanilla extract, oak, baking spice, and cherry notes with a very slight proof sting.

Taste: Vanilla cream, caramel, warm spice, rich oak and subtler cherry. Very nice, very viscous mouthfeel.

Finish: Long balanced finish with lingering warm spice and sweet caramel.

4 Stars - Extraordinary whiskey: An all time favorite

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof B521

Age: 12 years

Proof: 118.2


Nose: Sweet and nutty with caramel and peanut notes.

Taste: Very on profile with plenty of nuts, oak and caramel plus a little baking spice and vanilla. Decent mouthfeel but I wanted more for the age and proof. Not even a hint of the proof.

Finish: Long, sweet and woody with oak, caramel and peanut.

1 Star - Good whiskey: I would choose to drink this over readily available whiskies

Stagg Jr Batch 15

Age: NAS

Proof: 131.1


Nose: Cherries, rye spice and heat!

Taste: Cherry cola, rich oak, baking and rye spices, caramel, something earthy ala Eagle Rare and enough proof to let you know it’s there. Great texture and mouthfeel that is thick but not oily.

Finish: Long finish with lingering spice, oak and faint cherry.

3 Stars - Excellent whiskey: I would be willing to hunt down a bottle


First off that Russell’s Reserve 13 Year is amazing. It handily won the blind tasting and I am in no way surprised.

The Elijah Craig Barrel Proof was disappointing but in the way that disappointing fried chicken or weird RPGs can be where they are still good because you like the formula even if this iteration wasn’t exactly what you were looking for.

Stagg Jr continues to be a strong release. I missed batch 14 but I’m glad I scored this one. That said it wasn’t all that much better than Smoke Wagon Uncut Unfiltered. In light of that closer call and how much the Russell’s won by I agree that batch 15 wouldn’t be the Stagg Jr to overpay for or spend a lot of time hunting though it’s an easy buy anywhere near retail.


TL;DR: Russell’s is the 🐐, Junior and UU were surprisingly close, poor ECBP



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