Stagg Jr. Fall 2017 Release Bottle: L1727 I was lucky enough to grab a bottle of this. The store was allocated four bottles this year and Sal the manager was kind enough to offer me one. Bottle is 90% full and has been opened since January 3rd.
Nose undiluted: Grapey. Red grapes. Baked apples with cinnamon and butter. Banana bread. German chocolate cake. Not really any caramel or nutty notes that I find typical in bourbon.
Palate undiluted: Red apples. And more red apples. Lots of red apple. A bit one dimensional with the red apple bit it packs tons of sweet red apple flavour with each sip. Its a good thing I like apples.
Finish: Cinnamon, brown sugar. And this darn baby vomit at the very end that I've had twice now. With this and the barrel strength FRSB. Its like the wood got wet and started rotting during the aging process. Arg.
Nose w/water: Lots of red fruits and berries and baked apple bread. The banana is gone.
Palate w/water: Mmmmm... vanilla pudding, chocolate cream pie, vanilla really becomes prominent with some water. Honey too.
Finish w/water: The red apples have now moved to the finish. Thankfully not as much baby vomit at the end.
Overall: This is a pack-a-punch big bourbon. Big flavours, lots of baked red fruit and vanilla. Not really much spice. Its a gooey, creamy syrup with plenty of alcohol to go around. The nose is better neat, everything else benefits from a drop of water. So smell it and then add your water. Good stuff. Glad I lucked out this year.
Score neat: 86 Score with water: 87