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Every Stagg Jr. Bourbon Batch Reviewed [2021]

Last updated Mar 14, 2021

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by Matty Sims

Glencairn Whiskey Glass

Stagg Jr. bourbon is a barrel proof whiskey from Buffalo Trace’s mashbill #1, low-rye (less than 10 percent), that’s also used for Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor among others. It’s the younger version of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection’s George T. Stagg (GTS). Stagg Jr. is usually a blend of 8 to 9-year-old bourbons, whereas GTS is usually 12 years plus. The initial batch was released in 2013 and Buffalo Trace Distillery has released two batches every year since. The batches are not on the bottle, so the key to identifying each batch is the proof since each release has a unique proof.

At its initial release, Stagg Jr. was considered by some a shelf turd because of the higher proof and alcohol forward profile. However, as the bourbon boom has continued many bourbon enthusiasts are chasing high proof bourbons, and it didn’t take long for bourbon lovers to come around to Stagg Jr. Like many high proof bourbons, opening the bottle to let it breathe for a few weeks with the cork slightly loosened and most of that alcohol will have dissipated. Also, it comes down to training your palate to endure higher proof bourbons.

Are you looking for a Stagg Jr. batch ranking? Check it out below.

Related:

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Table of Contents

Every Stagg Jr. Bourbon Batch Release and Proof

Stagg Jr. BourbonBelow you will find every Stagg Jr. Bourbon Batch release and proof:

BatchSeasonProof
Batch 17Fall 2021Coming Soon
Batch 16Spring 2021Coming Soon
Batch 15Winter 2020131.1 Proof
Batch 14Spring 2020130.2 Proof
Batch 13Fall 2019128.4 Proof
Batch 12Summer 2019132.3 Proof
Batch 11Winter 2018127.9 Proof
Batch 10Spring 2018126.4 Proof
Batch 9Fall 2017131.9 Proof
Batch 8Spring 2017129.5 Proof
Batch 7Fall 2016130.0 Proof
Batch 6Spring 2016132.5 Proof
Batch 5Fall 2015129.7 Proof
Batch 4Spring 2015132.2 Proof
Batch 3Fall 2014132.1 Proof
Batch 2Spring 2014128.7 Proof
Batch 1Fall 2013134.4 Proof

We’ve also put together the basic bourbon nerd info for Stagg Jr.:

Stagg Jr Barrel Proof Bourbon
Stagg Jr Barrel Proof BourbonDetails
MashbillBT Mashbill #1 Low Rye
Off the StillUnknown
Barrel EntryUnknown
In the BottleVaries by Batch
ABVVaries by Batch
Char LevelLevel 4 (55 seconds) or Alligator Char
Distilled and AgedFrankfort, KY
AgeBlend of 8 to 9-years-old
StyleNon-Chill Filtered, Barrel Proof, Small Batch
Release DateSpring and Fall
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$59.99
DistilleryBuffalo Trace Distillery
113 Great Buffalo Trace
Frankfort, KY 40601
ProsJam Packed with Flavor
ConsHard to Find
AvailabilityNational Distribution
InventoryKeep Stocked

What is the Best Stagg Jr. Bourbon Batch?

  • Stagg Jr Batch 12 – Gold 95.3 out of 100 Points
  • Stagg Jr Batch 5 – Gold 93.6 out of 100 Points
  • Stagg Jr Batch 14 – 93.3 out of 100 Points
  • Stagg Jr Batch 15 – Gold 92.8 out of 100 Points
  • Stagg Jr Batch 7 – Gold 92.6 out of 100 Points
  • Stagg Jr Batch 10 – Silver 91.6 out of 100 points
  • Stagg Jr Batch 13 – Coming Soon
  • Stagg Jr Batch 11 – Coming Soon
  • Stagg Jr Batch 9 – Coming Soon
  • Stagg Jr Batch 8 – Coming Soon
  • Stagg Jr Batch 6 – Coming Soon
  • Stagg Jr Batch 4 – Coming Soon
  • Stagg Jr Batch 3 – Coming Soon
  • Stagg Jr Batch 2 – Coming Soon
  • Stagg Jr Batch 1 – Coming Soon

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 15 Review

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 15

Nose – 92 out of 100 Points

This batch lets you know right up front it’s barrel proof. I get faint vanilla bean aromas and a cherry and apple jolly rancher sweetness. I also get sweet and savory cinnamon. You need that pop of heat and savory cinnamon to offset the layers of sweetness.

Taste – 94 out of 100 Points

On the first sip, my lips tingled. That jolly rancher sweetness pops on the mid-palate. The mouthfeel is fantastic. There’s a warming spice through the drinking experience. The depth of flavor on the palate is a home run. Also, I get a nice habanero maple syrup that coats the mouth with a great sweet and spicy punch.

Finish – 93 out of 100 Points

The finish is long. Cherry. Oak. Charred cinnamon. Lots of depth.

Complexity – 92 out of 100 Points

The drinking experience is consistent from nose to finish with bold flavors, complexity, and depth.

Value – 93 out of 100 Points

At $59.99, the value is great. Honestly, I’d pay up to $100 for Stagg Jr.

Verdict – Gold 92.8 out of 100 Points

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 14 Review

Nose – 92 out of 100 Points

Stagg Jr. Batch 14’s nose is brown sugar, cinnamon whipped cream, butterscotch, honey graham cracker, and caramel walnuts — the kind of you spoon over ice cream.

Taste – 94 out of 100 Points

There you are, Peter. The punch comes on the palate. The front of the palate is apple, cherries, burnt caramel, and spicy hot tamale candy. I also pick up just hints of vanilla buttercream frosting. It’s surprisingly sweet and fruity.

Finish – 94 out of 100 Points

This is a classic Kentucky Hug. It’s a long finish that’s more caramel walnuts, oak, vanilla, and beautiful heat.

Verdict – 93.3 out of 100 Points

The complexity is there. Batch 14 was everything you want from Stagg Jr. Sweet. Heat. Great mouthfeel. Long finish. My only complaint? Stagg Jr. batches are still too damn hard to find. Value is off the charts at $60. Problem — you’d be hard-pressed to find it, and if you do it may be over retail.

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 13 Review

Full Review Coming Soon

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 12 Review

It’s got great viscosity with thick ribbons rolling down the curves of my glass

Nose – 96 out of 100 Points

The nose is rich, cooked down red berries and cherry with a savory back spice and maple syrup backdrop. It’s not overpowering or unpleasant but it reminds you it’s high proof.

Taste – 95 out of 100 Points

Batch 12 is a flavor supernova. It’s like drinking a star that explodes in your palate with more luxurious red fruits (but not cloying sweet), dark caramel, vanilla soaked charred oak, and baking spice as it winds down. There’s heat but it enhances the flavor.

Finish – 95 out of 100 Points

The finish was cross country road trip long with a pop of bright and bitter citrus peel, subtle cherries, and the major star is charred cinnamon and vanilla soaked oak.

Verdict – Gold 95.3 out of 100 Points

The first opportunity to try Batch 12 was only a few days after passing on a bottle. Late Nov/early Dev is a Game of Russian roulette for bourbon lovers. I’m left saying no or maybe let me get back to you on good whiskeys as I have lots of brands in the fire. Sadly, this was a bad call. I passed. Tried it a few days later. It blew my socks off. Went back for it. Gone. Just a couple of weeks later I found Batch 13 which was solid but missed that extra oomph that Batch 12 had.

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 11 Review

Full Review Coming Soon

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 10 Review

Nose – 90 out of 100 Points

That classic cherry flavor in a lot of Stagg Jr’s, but it’s more of a stewed cherries. Charred oak and sweet cinnamon with just a hint of leather follow. I also get like tropical marinaded grilled chicken.

Taste – 93 out of 100 Points

This palate is the definition of sweet heat. There are cherries but it’s more tart cherries followed by bright fruity peppers like a dried Pasilla pepper and a spicy habanero chili.

Finish – 92 out of 100 Points

Classic Kentucky hug with sweet cherries, warming, sweet cinnamon and nutmeg, charred oak, and scorched habanero chili.

Verdict – Silver 91.6 out of 100 points

The complexity and balanced improved through the drinking experience and, of course, the value is off the charts at retail. I recommend making friends in your local group, share your best, and see what happens.

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batches 9 through 13 Reviewed

Full Review Coming Soon

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 8 Review

Full Review Coming Soon

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 7 Review

If I had one complaint about Batch 7, it’s that it wasn’t complex enough. But there were delicious flavors, and they had some depth.

Nose – 92 out of 100 Points

Cherry bomb. It’s pleasant oak. Baking spice. You definitely pick up the heat on the nose, but it’s not overwhelming.

Taste – 93 out of 100 Points

Cherries. Cherries. And more cherries. Berry honey. Warming baking spice through the back of the palate. The tingle of red pepper on top of the tongue.

Finish – 93 out of 100 Points

Another long finish. More baking spice and oak with the cherry in the background.

Verdict – Gold 92.6 out of 100 Points

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 6

Full Review Coming Soon

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 5 Review

I rarely have a bourbon that performs better towards the end of the tasting experience but Stagg Jr. Batch 5 was the exception.

Nose – 92 out of 100 Points

It’s an earthy nose for Stagg Jr. I pick up plums, dark chocolate covered cherries. It reminds me of a rich mole with the chocolate, nuts, and cinnamon all charred and cooked down. With some smokey, sweet beef jerky.

Taste – 94 out of 100 Points

The palate is cherry pie, the earthiness is gone. There’s sweet red peppercorn that tingles the tip of your tongue. It warms the mouth.

Finish – 95 out of 100 Points

This is a Kentucky hug at its finest with more cherries through the finish but with warming baking spices and beautiful vanilla soaked charred oak.

Verdict – Gold 93.6 out of 100 Points

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 4

Full Review Coming Soon

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 3

Full Review Coming Soon

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 2

Full Review Coming Soon

Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch 1

Full Review Coming Soon

Stagg Jr.: Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a bottle of Stagg Jr?

The suggested MSRP is $59.99 but you’re more likely to see it listed around $100. Anything more than $100 and I’d pass. Get in a good local bourbon group. Share what you have and ask for help after you’ve helped.

Is Stagg Jr hard to get?

You might also be asking, “Is Stagg Jr. rare?” Stagg Jr. is an allocated item and so can be hard to find.

Is Stagg Jr worth it?

Stagg Jr. is worth it at the right price. You have to determine what that price is for you. At $59.99, I’m buying at least two when I see it.

How often is Stagg Jr released?

Buffalo Trace Distillery releases two batches every year — usually in the spring and fall.

What’s the difference between Stagg and Stagg Jr?

Stagg Jr. is younger typically than George T. Stagg (GTS). Otherwise, they are both barrel proof, unfiltered, and the same mashbill. Stagg Jr. is usually a blend of 8 to 9-year-old bourbon. GTS is usually 12-years-old.

Every George T. Stagg Reviewed [2021]

What is the best Stagg Jr batch?

That’s a tough call. In recent memory, I loved Stagg Jr batch 12.

How old is Stagg Jr?

Stagg Jr. is a blend of 8 to 9-year-old barrels.

What proof is Stagg Jr Batch 14?

Stagg Jr. Batch 14 was 130.2 proof.

What mash bill is Stagg Jr?

Stagg Jr. is the Buffalo Trace mash bill #1 — low rye (less than 10 percent).

buffalo trace bourbon mash bill #1

What proof is Stagg Jr?

The Stagg Jr. proof varies by batch, but it’s usually in the 120 to 130 proof range.

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Why trust The Bourbon Bard?

Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is a storyteller who loves bourbon. He has been drinking and studying whiskey for over 10 years. He has also been featured on sites like Bourbon Sippers, Explore Whiskey, and Inside Hook, partnered with dozens of distilleries, and reviewed hundreds of whiskeys.
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