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The Stagg Hub: Everything You Need to Know About All the Stagg Junior Batches and George T. Stagg Releases in One Convenient Location


Stagg Bourbon - All the Batches by Proof, Age, Release, Year

Sweet Staggy Stagg! This phrase, often said in the voice of Norbert from the old Nickelodeon cartoon Angry Beavers, is a nostalgic line you'll often hear from me, a self-proclaimed Stagg man. As the eponymous hero of the Stagg Hub, my goal will be to keep this page up to date with all the latest releases of both Stagg Jr (which no longer features the "Jr" on the label as of the batch 18 release) and the more senior George T. Stagg (a staple of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, or BTAC for short). If all the batches, proofs, and years have you confused, read on and keep this page bookmarked for easy reference in the future!


If you don't want to scroll through the introductions and background details that will follow, feel free to use the links below to jump down to the release tables:




Please note these are best viewed in non-mobile format on a computer browser.


 

The History


The origin story for this brand harkens all the way back to 1835, when George T. Stagg was born in central Kentucky. George would come to be known as "The Ultimate Salesman." After starting his early life in the shoe industry, George would find himself transitioning into and excelling in a life of Army work. At the conclusion of his service in the Civil War, George struck up selling Kentucky whiskey in Missouri with a business partner named James Gregory. This business put George in contact with many of the successful Kentucky distillers, one of which was Colonel Edmund Haines Taylor, Jr.—another name you should recognize from the Buffalo Trace portfolio. Taylor, falling on some hard times in the distilling business, ended up owing Stagg a substantial sum of money. Stagg, ever the opportunist, turned a tough situation into a business opportunity. He wiped the debts that Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr owed and, in return, took ownership of both of Taylor's distilleries: the O.F.C. Distillery and the Carlisle Distillery. They worked together as pseudo-partners for a time, though Stagg was ultimately the majority shareholder in all their ventures, including the E.H. Taylor Jr. Company, which was founded in 1879. This relationship would unfortunately not last, with Taylor parting ways and going off to run the Old Taylor Distillery, which is now owned and operated by Castle & Key at the time of writing.


A 1917 distilled bourbon from the Geo. T. Stagg Distillery which I had the great pleasure of drinking with my dear friend Gregory Cloyd
A 1917 distilled bourbon from the Geo. T. Stagg Distillery

The more notable of the named distilleries in connection to this story is the O.F.C. Distillery, O.F.C. standing for a few names that Taylor used interchangeably: Old Fashioned Copper and Old Fire & Copper. After Taylor's separation and a number of hot-button lawsuits between the two Kentucky gentlemen, the O.F.C. Distillery and other holdings would be renamed under 'George C. Stagg and Co.' in 1890. With his health on the decline at this time, he chose to retire this same year. George T. Stagg would live to be 58 years old, passing away in 1893. His distillery would live on in his name, with 1904 seeing the distillery become "The George T. Stagg Distillery," which is sometimes shortened to "Geo Stagg" in print. This would notably be one of the distilleries that was allowed to remain open through prohibition. An example of this distillery's whiskey, bottled in 1928 as a ripe old 11.5 year bourbon, was opened, studied, savored, and enjoyed when I last got together with my dear friend Gregory Cloyd. What an honor it was to taste, learn, and respect the history of George T. Stagg in liquid form! In 1929, the distillery was bought by the spirits goliath Schenley, which I've also written about, as they then continued to produce whiskey under the new prohibition rules. This distillery was likely one of Schenley's powerhouse Kentucky producers, though they were making all kinds of spirits for the next handful of decades.


Buffalo Trace Distillery Visitors Center Welcome Wall
Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky

As the history of the man behind the name began to fade with the inexorable passage of time, the distillery would once again change hands in 1992, when the Sazerac Company purchased it. The name would become Buffalo Trace Distillery in 1999, apparently due to this location by the bank of the Kentucky River being an ancient Buffalo crossing. That takes us to today, where the same distillery now distills, ages, and crafts whiskey under several of the historical brandings associated with related prominent whiskey figures. The recipes, people, and equipment have all been replaced and modernized, though, meaning the whiskey produced today is not necessarily the same as what came before. So from the perspective of someone who has tasted the old stuff, you might be wondering about my opinion on Stagg bourbon as it stands today. Well, my dear reader, you're in luck, as I make it a point to write about as many of these releases as I can.


Whenever I have completed my own review of any of these releases, I will also include a link to it. If you'd like to share a batch I haven't reviewed yet, I'd be glad to be able to offer my thoughts on a shared sample. For now, let's jump into the nitty-gritty details on everything Stagg bourbon!


 

Stagg Junior



The ever-bold Stagg Junior, now just simply 'Stagg', is the uncut, unfiltered Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey produced from Buffalo Trace's mash bill # 1. This is the same mash bill used in the flagship Buffalo Trace, Colonel Taylor, Eagle Rare, and Benchmark bourbon variants. These bourbons are non-aged-stated (NAS), though widely assumed to be 8-12 year blends, which I would attest to based on my experience with these batches through the years. Some batches sip older and some taste a bit younger, but given the notes I've drawn from these, 8-12 years feels like the right range.


All grown up - Stagg Junior Loses the Junior in 2022
All grown up - Stagg Jr loses the junior designation in 2022

In an interesting rebranding, Buffalo Trace decided to drop the 'Jr' from the label on the summer release in 2022, despite this release having all the hype and respect in the world behind it with the old name. They have also begun to add their own batch naming convention as of the Winter batch in 2022, which is really where the confusion starts but also hopefully ends. Since they are taking matters into their own hands, there isn't a clean continuity, as you'll see in the table below. There is at least a robust and repeatable system for the future, so if you're looking at a newer bottling on the shelf, you'll want to look at the bottom right portion of the front label for the batch information.


 

Company on Label: Buffalo Trace

Whiskey Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Mash Bill Percentages: Buffalo Trace Mash Bill # 1 (Low Rye < 10%)

Proof: Varies, thus far between 125.9° and 134.4°

Age: NAS (Rumored to be around 8 years)

Further identification: Stagg (Junior) normally releases twice per year, a winter and a summer release, but since 2023's new naming convention was put in place and we saw a "C" batch land within the calendar year, that may be changing


 

Power Ranking All the Best Stagg Batches


Amongst The Whiskey's Top Stagg Jr Batches (Click to Expand)


 

Stagg Jr Batch Information: All the Proofs and Release Dates


Batch

Proof

Release Date

125.9 proof

Late Winter 2023

127.8 proof

Winter 2023

130.2 proof

Summer 2023

132.2 proof

Spring 2023

130 proof

Winter 2022

131 proof

Summer 2022

128.7 proof

Winter 2021

130.9 proof

Summer 2021

131.1 proof

Winter 2020

130.2 proof

Summer 2020

128.4 proof

Winter 2019

132.3 proof

Summer 2019

Batch 11

127.9 proof

Winter 2018

Batch 10

126.4 proof

Summer 2018

Batch 9

131.9 proof

Winter 2017

Batch 8

129.5 proof

Summer 2017

Batch 7

130.0 proof

Winter 2016

Batch 6

132.5 proof

Summer 2016

129.7 proof

Winter 2015

Batch 4

132.2 proof

Summer 2015

Batch 3

132.1 proof

Winter 2014

Batch 2

128.7 proof

Summer 2014

Batch 1

134.4 proof

Winter 2013


 

George T. Stagg


George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon Lay Flat

The more senior, older-age bourbon from Buffalo Trace bears the historical name George T. Stagg. As of the more recent bottlings, the inside of the back label features a sketch of Stagg himself that can be seen once the bottle has been sufficiently consumed to reveal the image. First introduced in 2002 in response to a growing consumer demand for well-aged barrel proof whiskey, this has become a yearly staple of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection.


Buffalo Trace Antique Collection - Thomas H. Handy, William Larue Weller, George T. Stagg, Eagle Rare 17, Sazerac 18
Is Stagg the King of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection?

What this release also does really well is layer in a level of transparency that is non-normal for Buffalo Trace and Sazerac as a whole, with the antique collection seeing a release letter that accompanies each year's vintage. These letters feature information such as the year of distillation, release timing, proof, mash bill grain sources, fermentation specs, distillation techniques, aging locations, evaporative loss, and aging specifics. All of the released letters can be viewed and downloaded at the bottom of this page.


 

Company on Label: Buffalo Trace

Whiskey Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Mash Bill Percentages: Buffalo Trace Mash Bill # 1 (Low Rye < 10%)

Proof: Varies, between 125.9° and 134.4°

Age: Varies, between 15-18 years

Further identification: George T. Stagg, a critical component of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC), releases once per year, other than the notable exceptions of a multi-release in 2005 and no release in 2021 due to a lack of quality barrels; while the release year isn't distinctly called out on a bottle of George T. Stagg, you can figure out your release year by reading the laser code, or by using the proof table below


 

Power Ranking the George T. Stagg Releases


Amongst the Whiskey's Top George T. Stagg Releases Ranked (Click to Expand)


 

George T. Stagg Releases by Year, Proof, and Age


Release Year

Proof

Age

135.0

15 years, 3 months

138.7

15 years, 5 months

2021 - No release

N/A

N/A

130.4

15 years, 4 months

116.9

15 years, 3 months

2018

124.9

15 years, 4 months

2017

129.2

15 years, 3 months

2016

144.1

15 years, 4 months

2015

138.2

15 years, 1 months

2014

138.1

16 years, 4 months

2013

128.2

15 years, 11 months

2012

142.8

16 years, 9 months

2011

142.6

18 years, 5 months

2010

143.0

17 years, 7 months

2009

141.4

16 years, 7 months

141.8

15 years, 6 months

2007

144.8

15 years, 6 months

2006

140.6

16 years, 3 months

2005 (Fall)

141.2

15 years, 4 months

2005 (Spring, Lot A: Kentucky)

130.9

16 years, 8 months

2005 (Spring, Lot B: all states)

131.8

16 years, 8 months

2004

129.0

16 years

2003

142.7

15 years

2002

137.6

15 years


 

George T. Stagg Release Letters



2023 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 602KB

2022 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 621KB

2020 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 2.45MB

2019 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 704KB

2018 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 628KB

2017 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 109KB

2016 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 620KB

2015 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 685KB

2014 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 549KB

2013 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 424KB

2012 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 425KB

2011 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 425KB

2010 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 431KB

2009 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 427KB

2008 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 426KB

2007 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 430KB

2006 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 435KB

2005 Fall George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 431KB

2005 Spring George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 438KB

2004 George T. Stagg - Amongst the Whiskey
.pdf
Download PDF • 441KB

 

I hope this was a helpful article for you. Don't forget to bookmark this page, share it with your friends in the whiskey community, and join the conversation below!

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