Why Is Stagg Bourbon Such A Rare Find?

A glass of whiskey with ice
A glass of whiskey with ice - Lucentius/Getty Images

For a while, Stagg Jr. used to be one of the most affordable bottles from the legendary Buffalo Trace distillery that came at barrel-proof strength. But if you haven't been keeping up with the latest in the industry, you might be a bit concerned about the scarcity of Stagg Jr. bottles on store shelves these days. In some places, they're nearly impossible to find. So, what's the story? Thankfully, the brand hasn't been retired or lost its popularity. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The reason you're seeing fewer Stagg Jr. bottles is mainly because, around November 2021, Buffalo Trace decided to give the brand a little facelift. Now, both the Stagg Jr. line and Stagg (sometimes known as "Stagg Sr." or "Papa Stagg") have been merged into the "George T. Stagg" brand.

This change occurred after the release of Batch 17 and 18 of Stagg Jr. bourbon in mid-2022. That's also when people began noticing the familiar Stagg Jr. label disappearing from shelves at a rapid pace. Many people (with good reason) believed that Stagg Jr. had been discontinued. If you're a longtime fan of this high-proof bourbon, you'll be pleased to know that the spirits of Stagg Jr. and Papa Stagg are still very much alive as part of the annual George T. Stagg releases.

Read more: The 27 Best Bourbon Brands, Ranked

If You See An Original Stagg Jr. Bottle In The Wild, Snap It Up!

A bottle of Stagg bourbon
A bottle of Stagg bourbon - barinart/Shutterstock

If you're one of the lucky souls who managed to stumble upon a bottle of Stagg Jr., especially from the batches before the rebranding (Batch 17 or 18), consider it a rare find. And if you're even luckier to have found it at around retail price, say about $60 up to $100, don't hesitate to snag it. With Stagg Jr. no longer produced under its original name, the bottles still existing today are the last of their kind. The rarity and the popularity of these Buffalo Trace bourbons make them excellent collectibles, often fetching prices three or even four times their retail value, ranging from $200 to even $400, depending on the batch (Batch 17 usually commands a higher price than Batch 18, as the latter didn't receive very favorable reviews from enthusiasts).

But if you simply love the straight bourbon whiskey for what it is — a bold, barrel-strength distillation from Buffalo Trace — there's no rush to sell. Crack open that bottle and enjoy a sip. Sure, you can still get a similar tasting experience from the rebranded George T. Stagg bottles, but there's something special about sipping from a bottle that's no longer in circulation.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.