Stagg Jr. Bourbon

STAGGjr_0Stagg Jr. is a limited production barrel proof bourbon.  Buffalo Trace released the first batch in Aug, 2013 and has released two batches per year since then.  Each batch is blended from bourbons that are roughly 8 or 9 years old and released at a unique proof.  Collectors use those proof numbers to identify specific batches.

When Stagg Jr. was first released, it didn’t receive a very warm welcome.  Bourbon drinkers familiar with George T. Stagg (an older, much rarer BTAC bourbon) were expecting Stagg Jr. to be a barrel proof offering with a similar profile.  When they realized it didn’t have a similar profile, many prominent reviewers thought it was too “alcohol forward” and downgraded Stagg Jr. to a “Pass” and dismissed it as a failed version of George T. Stagg. While this negative opinion still exists among some whiskey circles and experts, many bourbon enthusiasts switched camps after the 3rd batch and now consider this to be a well-executed barrel strength offering. Newer batches typically receive high ratings and sell out relatively quickly.

Aside from renewed interest in the bourbon’s quality, Stagg Jr. also has value as part of a larger vertical, meaning that collectors will try to get at least one bottle from each release to display or drink. This “vertical value” emerged shortly after the third release and grew as a purchase influence with each subsequent batch.  Likewise, the value of previous releases has also increased, as has the number of collectors who are trying to assemble verticals.

Availability of Stagg Jr. varies widely by region.  It can sit for months in some areas and disappear in days from others.  Even with that variation, it’s very rare to find bottles on shelves that are older than the most recent batch or two. Collectors pulling together verticals likely need to leverage friends, trades, purchase groups, or the secondary market to source early batch bottles.

Producer’s Description: Just like George T. Stagg Bourbon, this whiskey is not filtered and offers all the rich and complex flavors of bourbon right from the barrel. Bottles of Stagg Jr. will be limited, but several batches each year are planned. This new Stagg Jr. offering will not affect the stock of barrels already set aside for future George T. Stagg releases.

Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley describes that taste as, “rich, sweet, chocolate and brown sugar flavors mingled in perfect balance with a bold, rye spiciness. The boundless finish lingers with hints of cherries, cloves and smokiness.”

Producer:  Buffalo Trace
Release Category: Limited-Edition, Allocated
Release Frequency: Approx. 2 batches per year
Releases to Date:  7
Release Season:  Spring / Fall
Release Volume:  Unknown (still hunting this fact!)
Release Region: Wide release
Sell Out Timeframe:  Up to a few months (varies significantly by region)
Bottle Size:  750ml
Nicknames:  Baby Stagg, SJR, Stagg Jr + proof (ex: Stagg Jr 132.2)
Avg. Price Retail:  $59
Avg. Price Among Whiskey Traders:  $65+ (early batches more valuable)
Avg. Price on Secondary Market:  $75+ (early batches more valuable)
Trading Value:  Low (early batches more valuable)
TTB ID: 12355001000167
DSP Codes: DSP-KY-113, DSP-CA-63, DSP-MD-11, DSP-KY-12, DSP-KY-24
UPC Code: 00088004018580
Mash Bill: BT Mash Bill #1 (low-rye)

Releases
Batch 7 – (Fall, 2016) – 130 Proof
Batch 6 – (Spring, 2016) – 132.5 Proof
Batch 5 – (Fall, 2015) – 129.7 Proof
Batch 4 – (Spring, 2015) – 132.2 Proof
Batch 3 – (Fall, 2014) – 132.1 Proof
Batch 2
 – (Spring, 2014) – 128.7 Proof
Batch 1 – (Fall, 2013) – 134.4 Proof

Reviews / Awards
2016 Gold Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
2016 Best of Category / Gold Medal (92 points) – Los Angeles International Spirits Competition
2015 Best of Division (Whiskey) / Gold Medal (97 points) – Los Angeles International Spirits Competition
2015 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
2015 Trophy Finalist – 95 points – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
2015 BTI International Review of Spirits – “Exceptional” – 95 points
2015 Gold Medal – North American Bourbon & Whiskey Competition
2014 Silver Medal – International Wine & Spirits Competition
2015 Silver Medal – Denver International Spirits Competition
2014 Silver Medal – Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition
2014 Double Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
2014 Bronze Medal, American Bourbon Whiskey No Age Statement – World Whiskies Awards
2014 Excellent/Highly Recommended – Ultimate Spirits Challenge

4 thoughts on “Stagg Jr. Bourbon

  1. Just picked up a bottle of the Jr. and it is labeled as being 129.7 – is this the fall release for 2015 or is the purported typo actually an error by BT? The latter would seem like a serious anomaly. thanks.

  2. Hi JP! The 129.7 is the Fall 2015 release. We just updated our post to include that release. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Have you had a chance to try release 7, 65%, 130 proof? Curious as to how this new one stands up. Would be great to know while it is still available. Thanks

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