Stagg 23C Review

Stagg 23C review…wait, what?! 23C? Yup, this is the first time for Stagg (Jr) to ever be released three times in one year. It hits the shelves at 125.9 proof, which is the lowest proof of any Stagg Jr ever released. The initial sip is baking spice dominant (cinnamon, anise seed, white pepper) and it sips a little hot. That is followed by some caramel, brown sugar, vanilla notes, toasted oak, with a touch of leather, some fig, and licorice. If anyone knows why they released 3 batches in 2023, please leave a comment below. Could this be a new thing? Or just a special surprise for 2023?

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: 125.9
Proof Designation: Barrel Proof
Filtered Status: Non-Chill Filtered
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: Winter 2023
MSRP: $70 (2023)
Secondary Market: $150 – $450
Availability: Low/Rare

Stagg 23C review
Stagg 23C 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

Toasted oak, custard, vanilla, leather, dark fruits (fig, luxardo cherry), leather, a hint of butterscotch.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Hello Again Whiskey Friends: Buffalo Trace rick house mash aroma, caramels, sweetness, it has a depth of aromas.

Whiskey Bank: Spice right away. Some cinnamon with a lot of vanilla. Then sweetness, caramel, then fruit. Fresh cherries or raspberries, some tartness. French vanilla ice cream.

Average Whiskey Drinker: Sweet caramel, luxardo cherry, ripe raspberry, oak, a citrus-like orange, and a crisp green apple. It smells incredible.

Palate

The initial sip is baking spice dominant (cinnamon, anise seed, white pepper) and it sips a little hot. That is followed by some caramel, brown sugar, vanilla notes, toasted oak, with a touch of leather, some fig, licorice, and maybe a hint of root beer.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Hello Again Whiskey Friends: The front palate is rich, a flavor punch up front, and it’s sweet, wow! It’s a good batch. On the mid-palate, sweetness, vanilla, oak. It is more complex and well-rounded than batches 22A & 22B.

Whiskey Bank: The spice hits me up front with a lot of cinnamon mixed with brown sugar and nutmeg. Also a doughy sweetness or savoriness. Then, a lot of black coffee or expresso shots.

Average Whiskey Drinker: This doesn’t drink 125.9 proof. I get a little fire on the tongue. It is sweet, and viscous, with cinnamon on the mid-palate. The green apple and orange notes are there, but it’s syrupy. Dark fruit, a little hint of raspberry. Second taste, oak, caramel, vanilla note. It is sweet and mouth coating. Sweet and savory.

Finish

The finish is moderately long (but short as Stagg Jr’s go) with a combination of baking spices, some dryness, caramel, a hint of vanilla, and molasses.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Hello Again Whiskey Friends: The finish is pretty long.

Whiskey Bank: Sweet oak, baking spices, rounded out with black coffee.

Average Whiskey Drinker: no notes.

The Burn

4 out of 5. This means that the burn from the alcohol is a little lower than what I would expect it to be for this proof. I would guess this to be around 115 proof, not 125.9 proof.

Summary

Of the three Stagg Jr’s (I know, it’s not jr anymore!), I like C923 the best by a small margin over 23A and by a good margin over 23B. But it doesn’t come close to batch 22B, which is my personal favorite since batch 15. But having said that, it is still a Stagg and still pretty damn good!

Notes and History

Stagg Jr saw its debut 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 MSRP. Beginning with Batch 18 in the winter of 2022, Stagg dropped the “Jr” (because at age 18 it was now considered to be “grown-up”) and it will now simply be marketed as Stagg with the release number after it (23C, 23B, etc). But many bourbon drinkers still refer to it as Stagg Jr.

My Tasting Notes

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Stagg 23C Review notes

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Ben
8 days ago

Molasses!

Jeff macomb
1 day ago

Love this bottle, can’t wait to find a backup

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