Stagg 22A Review

I had my Stagg 22B long before Stagg 22A was released…but that’s backwards isn’t it?! Apparently, 22A had some problems with its label, so even though it was bottled and ready for release before 22B, they held it back to fix whatever the label issue was, so 22B ended up being bottled second but released first. The end result is that batch 22B was released in Winter 2022 and batch 22A was released in Early Spring 2023. It’s nice to know why this numeric anomaly happened.

Stagg 22A is an impressive 132.2 proof, is thought to be between 7 – 9 years old, and like all Staggs, it is crafted from Buffalo Trace mashbill #1.

Series: Formerly Stagg Jr, now simply Stagg
Classification: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Age: NAS (aged at least 4 years per regulations, but rumored to be 7-9 years old)
Proof: 132.2
Proof Designation: Barrel Proof
Non-Chill Filtered? Yes
Mash bill: Buffalo Trace Mash #1, undisclosed but speculated to be 82% Corn, 8% Rye, 10% Barley
Distillery: Buffalo Trace
Company: Sazerac Company
Distilled/Aging Location: Frankfort, Kentucky
Release Date: Early Spring 2023
Batch Notes: a labeling issue resulted in batch 22A being released after batch 22B
MSRP: $70 (2023)
Secondary Market: $150 – $450
Availability: Low/Rare

Stagg 22A Review
Stagg Batch 22A Review

My tasting reviews are unique in that I include the notes of several well-known whiskey critics. The hope is that this format will help me and others to explore and expand their tasting experience. After you have taken your own tasting notes, read the reviews and see if there is a flavor note that others discerned that now you can detect as well.

Nose

Sweet, anise, rich caramel, leather, peach, vanilla.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Mash & Drum: Deep, rich brown sugars, a lot of sweet, a good amount of oak, a little grape note, powdered sugar, molasses, pecan pie.

Amongst the Whiskey: Brown sugar, leather and browned butter proliferate in a rich nose-feel that jumps right out of the glass. Savory-sweet confectioner’s delights abound as delicious aromas of crème brûlée and maple candied bacon continue to pour out of my glencairn. Touches of smoke and black pepper suggest a heavy oak influence to come.

Whiskey Jar Blog: On the nose is traditional bourbon but with heavy notes of Caribbean vanilla, leather and oak.

Palate

Vanilla, caramel, fig, leather, oak, brown sugar, a hint of chocolate, the burn is like white pepper…hot w/ no associated flavor such as black pepper or cinnamon.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Mash & Drum: Delicious. It explodes on the palate with a lot of dark brown sugar and oak, a nice hint of grapes, molasses, a little of the pecan pie note.

Amongst the Whiskey: From my first sip I find classic Stagg notes: cherry hots, cinnamon and rich oak. The heft (burn) is not shy with this one. It does everything barrel proof Kentucky bourbon should do: it’s big & bold, it sizzles in the mouth, and it gives a wonderful chest hug on the way down. The second sip shows off leather, plum and raisin. The mouthfeel is a bit drying as all 132.2 proof points creep across the taste buds. As the glass mixes with oxygen over time I find creamy vanilla tones start to layer in. My last sip is loaded with oak and cherry skins.

Whiskey Jar Blog: Rich vanilla, dark cherry notes, lovely oak tannin, leather, and clove. The mouthfeel is very rich and luscious.

Finish

Long finish. Anise, vanilla, oak, and a hint of orange peel.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Mash & Drum: Oak and dark brown sugar.

Amongst the Whiskey: On the finish the heft subsides, but the long linger remains. Browned butter and cinnamon are the main hallmarks.

Whiskey Jar Blog: The finish is really long. The cloves and baking spice dominate with the oak and leather notes in the background.

Notes and History

Stagg Jr was first released in the Fall of 2013 and was introduced as Stagg Jr to be a more readily available version of its “father” George T. Stagg, which is part of the Antique Collection and is considered to be a “Unicorn” amongst bourbon enthusiasts because it is so hard to find, especially at an affordable price. Beginning with Batch 18 in the winter of 2022, Stagg dropped the “Jr” and it will now only be called Stagg, but it will continue to be released twice a year.

If you found this Stagg 22A review helpful, forward it to a friend!

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