Classification: Straight Bourbon
Company: Sazerac Company
Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery
Release Date: Winter 2021
Age: NAS (According to the company website the bourbon “ages for nearly a decade”)
MSRP: $70 (2022)
Rich caramel | Sweet oak | Dark maple syrup | Molasses | Fresh leather
Sweet oak | Brown sugar | Hazelnut | Leather | Light malt
Astringent oak | Dark vanilla | Cola | Maple | Clove | Rich & long lasting
Buffalo Trace continues to roll on with their Stagg Jr. releases which don’t always make the loudest splash when they are released, yet you never can seem to find them anymore either. The company is expected to drop the “Jr.” designation for the next batch, making this an end of an era, so-to-speak. Batch 17 doesn’t reinvent what it means to be a Stagg Jr. batch, which isn’t a bad thing. We awarded Batch 12 our #1 Whiskey of 2019, and comparably, Batch 17 isn’t far off from that release.
Opening with the usual Stagg Jr. aroma, the inclusion of fresh leather is its most unique scent this time out. It adds a bit of lightness and depth to the bourbon's darker aroma. The palate is once again dominated by oak, but it's noticeably on the sweeter side this time. Brown sugar and molasses are again present, but the addition of hazelnut and light malt make for worthy additions. The finish features a good deal of astringent oak, which is offset by dark vanilla, cola, and maple. The astringent oak is not as detrimental to the finish as you’d expect it to be and I kind of welcomed it by sip’s end.
Overall, Stagg Jr. Batch 17 is more of the same, with just enough tweaks to make it a satisfying and continually interesting pour. At this point it’s not a question if you should buy a batch if you see one, or is this batch better than the last, but more about how the brand specifically manages to continually deliver consistently hit a high quality bar and offer something new and exciting with each release.