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Two Whiskeys to start 2014–Stagg Jr & High West Double Rye

2 January 2014 Written by:

Again, two samples I got from Phil, this time American whiskeys I’ve yet to try. I did try the older version of the Stagg a few years ago (and a few weeks ago the latest batch), and High west Rendezvous a long time ago. These are quite different, one a very spicy Rye and the other, well, a cask proof monster. Can’t be bad, can it?

Buffalo Trace Stagg Jr, 67.2% !!! ABV , $49 (USA) ,( a lot more in EU…)STAGGjr

Well ,you can guess by the name that this is the younger sibling of the full blown Stagg. It does not come with an age statement but should be 8-9 years old.

Nose: Starts with a nice biting nose with plenty of vanilla , oak acetone and vinegar. not very complex, but quite a nice nose.

Palate: Pretty strong (surprise! Not.). Sweet vanilla with  coconut ,coffee and lots of oak.

Finish: Oak. Pastries. Vanilla.

A very enjoyable dram, not ultra complex, but for $50 it’s really nice. on the other hand for $100 (probably how much this would cost in the EU) I’m not sure it’s worth getting.

Score: 86/100

High West Double Rye, 46% ABV , £47high-west-double-rye-whiskey

This is a marriage of two straight rye whiskies that combines the feisty properties of a high rye 2-year-old and the saddle smooth richness of a 16-year-old. The 2-year-old has a 95% rye 5% barley malt mashbill , while the older rye has a “barely legal” rye mashbill of 53% rye and 37% corn.

Nose: Spicy stuff. Pine. Mint. Hot cinnamon. Fennel. Some fruit and a hint of chocolate.

Palate: Spicy mamma. Tons of mint,pine and some lovely oak too. Proper and cloves. A certain dough note too, and coconut.

Finish: Coconut , pine and oak.

A very feisty and spicy whisky, maybe one of the spicier ones I’ve had. It might be a bit too much for me neat, but would make awesome Sazeracs, or even better neat with ice.

Score: 87/100


  • sjoerd972 said:

    That Double Rye is a tasty dram! I tried it at the distillery which always causes more enthusiasm. Haven’t tried Stagg Jr. yet, but it’d have a hard time trumping the Double Rye!

  • Jf Pilon said:

    The nose on the Double Rye is nothing short of amazing. You can spend an hour in there without never getting bored.

  • Gal(WhiskyIsrael) said:

    Agreed 😉

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