Last Updated on August 6, 2022 by Lydia Martin
Stagg Jr is one of Buffalo Trace’s burliest brands — and by burly, we mean bold and robust, with a high proof to boot.
It’s considered a rite of passage if a bourbon drinker has tried it, considering the brand is a bit of a unicorn.
Here’s everything you need to know about Stagg Jr Bourbon — from its history, flavor profile, and price — so you can decide if it’s worth trying.
Table of Contents
About Stagg Jr Bourbon
Stagg Jr Bourbon is one of Buffalo Trace’s most popular labels among hardcore bourbon enthusiasts.
Uncut and unfiltered, this robust bourbon is highly sought after by many patrons because of its rich proof. The label was first released in the fall of 2013.
It was named after bourbon businessman George T. Stagg, who built the distillery that would eventually be known as Buffalo Trace.
Prior to 1999, the Buffalo Trace Distillery was known as the George T. Stagg Distillery.
Did You Know?
It was first released in the fall of 2013. Buffalo Trace wanted to create a brand with a robust and bold character that is reminiscent of the man it was named after.
George T. Stagg built the most dominant American distillery of the 19th century during a time known as the Gilded Age of Bourbon.
He started as a whiskey salesman before venturing into producing his own label.
How It’s Made
It is a barrel-proof/cask strength bourbon. It is unfiltered and uncut, meaning that whatever is inside your bottle is pure, unadulterated stuff, made in small batches and released biannually.
All Stagg releases are made with Buffalo Trace’s Mashbill #1, a low-rye recipe.
There isn’t an age statement, but according to the Buffalo Trace website, the robust bourbon whiskey “ages for nearly a decade” inside charred oak barrels.
We can assume that the younger sibling is aged anywhere from eight to nine years, as George T. Stagg, or Papa Stagg, is matured for 15 to 19 years inside barrels. 
Ownership & Distillery
Stagg Bourbon is owned by the Sazerac Company, a privately-held American alcoholic beverage company, and produced and distilled in the Buffalo Trace Distillery.
- Palate: Sweet honey and brown sugar flavors mingle with syrupy fruit notes, including cherries and peaches. There’s also a lot of heat from the barrel proof.
- Nose: It has a perfect balance of sweet honey, rich chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and hints of cinnamon spice on the nose.
- Color/Hue: It has a molasses brown hue.
- Finish: Its boundless finish lingers with notes of maple, clove, and baking spices.
Stagg maintains a consistent proof of around 130-ish with every released batch. Its high ABV also signifies a harsher palate, so we suggest adding a bit of water or serving it on the rocks to help cut back the heat.
Here is a list of all bottles released by the brand so far:
- Batch 16: Summer, 2021 – 130.9 proof
- Batch 15: Winter, 2020 – 131.1 proof
- Batch 14: Spring, 2020 – 130.2 proof
- Batch 13: Fall, 2019 – 128.4 proof
- Batch 12: Summer, 2019 – 132.3 proof
- Batch 11: Winter, 2018 – 127.9 Proof
- Batch 10: Spring, 2018 – 126.4 Proof
- Batch 9: Fall, 2017 – 131.9 Proof
- Batch 8: Spring, 2017 – 129.5 Proof
- Batch 7: Fall, 2016 – 130.0 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
Did Buffalo Trace Discontinue Stagg Jr Bourbon?
No, Buffalo Trace did not discontinue Stagg Jr Bourbon. However, the company announced that it would drop “Jr” from the name from 2022 onwards.
The reason for this change is that come 2022, the label will have hit its 18th batch, and when a child turns 18, they are now officially an adult (therefore, no longer a junior). 
Common Stagg Jr Price
|Type||Size||Alcohol By Volume||Average Price|
|Stagg Jr Bourbon||750ml||66.4%||Around $120|
Compared to Other Bourbons
Bulleit is recognized as having one of the best rye whiskeys. If you like a spicy dram that keeps you on your toes and takes your breath away, this is a great option.
However, if you compare it to Stagg, the latter is definitely the better bourbon.
Bulleit Bourbon costs around $30, which is pretty cheap compared to Stagg.
Basil Hayden Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Basil Hayden is part of Jim Beam’s small-batch bourbon collection, the equivalent of Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection.
Basil Hayden has a standard 80 proof, with distinctive fruity notes and a light mouthfeel.
Basil Hayden costs around $45, which is still cheaper than Stagg.
Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is probably the brand that could best match Stagg’s exquisiteness.
This is another intense bourbon whiskey with strong caramel and vanilla notes. The spirit is also rife with oak, spices, and citrus.
Woodford Reserve costs around $40, way cheaper than Stagg.
Popular Stagg Jr Bourbon Cocktails
Prep Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 11 minutes
- 1 part Stagg Jr Bourbon
- 3 parts Weller Special Reserve
Combine three parts of Weller Special Reserve with one part of Stagg in an old fashioned glass. Let it sit for ten minutes before taking a sip.
Cure for Pain
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
- 0.5 oz Stagg Jr Bourbon
- 1.5 oz Rittenhouse Rye
- 0.5 oz Carpano vermouth
- 0.5 oz Warre’s Otima 10 Tawny Port
- 1 tsp Campari
- 1 tsp creme de cacao
- Orange twist
Pour all liquid ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice and stir well until combined. Strain and pour into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with the orange twist.
Is Stagg Jr bourbon beginner-friendly?
No, we can’t say that Stagg Jr Bourbon is beginner-friendly.
This bourbon whiskey is a barrel-proof expression, meaning everything inside the bottle is pure, unadulterated bourbon whiskey.
Its density and heat may be too overwhelming for someone whose palate is unprepared.
Can you drink Stagg Jr bourbon straight?
Yes, you can drink Stagg Jr Bourbon straight, but personally, that’s not our preferred method of drinking it.
We find the flavor too dense and hot when drunk straight, so we like adding a bit of water or drinking it on the rocks. This allows more of its flavors and aromas to bloom and flourish.
Stagg Jr Bourbon is one of the best Buffalo Trace products, and we highly recommend trying it at least once.
This is an uncut and unfiltered bourbon bottled at 130 proof after aging for eight years, meaning everything inside your bottle is pure bourbon goodness.
It has potent oak notes and is quite tannic — bourbon enthusiasts will definitely enjoy this complex and robust dram.
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.