Stagg Jr. was first announced in 2013, and with its junior designation it was expected to be a more widely available version of its counterpart released annually as part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, George T. Stagg. Initially, some commented that it seemed closer to a barrel proof version of Buffalo Trace Bourbon than the original George T. Stagg. Yet, it quickly gained the attention of enthusiasts as it capitalized on the growing popularity of the Stagg name and barrel proof bourbons in general. Despite its explosive start and instant hard-to-find status, the initial batch was far from a home run. It was not a George T. Stagg substitute or even a big boy version of Buffalo Trace Bourbon that everyone hoped it would be. Instead, it was too big, too bold, and too brash.