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Elijah Craig Barrel Proof vs Stagg Jr: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Elijah Craig Barrel Proof vs Stagg Jr in this in-depth comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof

NoseOak, vanilla and caramel
PalateSpice, coconut, vanilla
FinishLong, spice, oak, caramel
Alcohol content130 proof (65% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toSmall Batch, Rare Breed

This bourbon is uncut, meaning that it was not watered-down and unfiltered as a means to retain all of its flavors and provide a solid experience.

Nose is strong in oak, followed by vanilla, caramel and a bit of ethanol.

On the palate, the Barrel Proof feels full bodied, warm at first as you might expect from something bottled at 130 proof but not harsh.

There are spicy hints, along a coconut note followed by a touch of vanilla and brown sugar.

The finish is long and warms the chest nicely, mostly sweet, with a floral note and a tad of oak spice.

This is good stuff, the heat lingers as expected but the floral note lingers too with a good hit of brown sugar and a bit of tartness.

This bourbon is well rounded, with some bold flavors making it entirely satisfying.

Add a large ice ball if you feel too much warmth but as you let it develop it becomes incredibly good.

This is the Best Elijah Craig Bourbon making it a must-try.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof:

  • Aged for a minimum of 12 years.
  • Mash is comprised of 78% corn, 10% rye and 12% malted barley.
  • The first letter of each batch number shows which of that year’s releases the bottle was a part of. Beginning with “A,” the second digit determines the month the bottle was released, followed by the year.
  • Two time Best Small Batch Bourbon Double Gold medal winner at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Stagg Jr.

NoseVanilla, cherry pie
PalateCherry, cinnamon, baking spice, caramel, pecan
FinishOak, cinnamon and brown sugar
Alcohol content130 proof (65% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toElmer T. Lee, E.H. Taylor, Weller Full Proof

Stagg is one of the many brands crafted at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. Stagg uses the same mash as the Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare but is drawn from a single barrel and bottled at proof.

The nose has a strong vanilla and cherry pie aroma that you can smell from across the room.

On the palate, Stagg Jr. has a thick and chewy texture and is strong and warm up-front. Once you let it develop it’s rich in cherry, cinnamon and baking spice with a touch of pecan.

The finish is warming but not harsh, rich in oak, with lingering fine spice hints and brown sugar.

Stagg Jr. is incredibly tasty, bold and rich although it has a fair amount of heat but well restrained for something bottled at such high proof.

This is a one of a kind bourbon for the brave with a penchant for strong and full of character spirits.

If you feel the burn add a large ice ball and that will tune it down a beat while releasing additional sweetness and wood.

This is one of the best Single Barrel Bourbons and one well worth looking at.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Stagg Jr.

  • Typically aged from 8 to 9 years.
  • This bourbon is uncut as it was not diluted with water and unfiltered.
  • The distiller releases two batches annually.
  • This bourbon is called Stagg Jr as it’s the less mature version of George T. Stagg.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof vs Stagg Jr: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof$88
Stagg Jr$120

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof vs Stagg Jr: Which is better?

Price gives and availability give the edge to Elijah Craig

WhiskeyElijah CraigStagg Jr
  • This one of the few instances in which there is no better bourbon as they are both incredibly good.
  • These are high proof bourbons, unfiltered and uncut that drink smoother than what the alcohol content suggests.
  • They are both quite rewarding with no let downs from nose to finish.
  • With such subtle differences I’d stay with the Elijah Craig as it way more affordable and widely available as the bourbons coming from the Buffalo Trace Distillery are sometimes hard to find.