Just like I did with ryes last week, I’m working my way through some new bourbons, too. Here are two that have recently taken their places on my “sipping bourbon” shelf:
Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof. This variety of Stagg comes in at a huge 130+ proof,….like it says, barrel proof (most whiskeys come out of the barrel at a higher proof than they’re bottled at). I’ve been drinking Stagg Jr. in 1 oz splashes with lots of ice, and this is a very palatable bourbon. Because of both the strength and the dark label on the back, this pours in a darker, tobacco-brown color as opposed to your usual copper bourbons. I found Stagg to be surprisingly rich and spicy – it’s a mouth-filling flavor with hints of licorice and clove. I tasted more spice than the sweet corn bourbon that I was expecting. As a high-quality bourbon that’s high proof, Stagg Jr. will run you $80-110.
W.L. Weller Special Reserve. Billed at the “original wheated bourbon” (we’re talking to you, Makers), Weller is a nicely balanced bourbon, and through it has a maple sweetness, there’s a good big mid palate woodiness, too to round it out. This is an easy drinking bourbon that has the elements you’ve come to love: sweet, spice, woody, and smooth. Weller 7 year is around $50 a bottle.