Burnt caramel | Dark chocolate | Cigar box | Charred oak | Stewed apples | Rumtopf | Light before becoming potent
Spice | Vanilla | Leather | Straight-forward | Rich but not overly bold
Vanilla | Caramel | Graham cracker | Slight mustiness | Dry | Flush of heat before subsiding | Cinnamon aftertaste | Long & complex
After dropping to its lowest proof ever in 2019, Stagg returns to its usual 130 proof range. Interestingly, the usual robustness typically associated with Stagg doesn’t return with it to the same degree. Out of the gate, its nose is light, requiring extra time and a swirl of the glass to open up. Its palate follows in much the same way, lacking the typical Stagg bearhug that has come to define the brand. Spice is the showcase of the palate, overshadowing its medium-intensity vanilla and leather notes. It’s in its finish that the whiskey turns itself around as it grows in complexity and intensity, making for an exceptional finish. Far from being flawed, the 2020 Stagg struggles to reach the amazing heights of years past throughout its entire sip. It’s a solid drinker overall that at times is overshadowed by the company’s own ever impressive Stagg Jr. and its competition that have stepped up their game, offering comparable and worthy Stagg alternatives.