In Focus: Buffalo Trace Distillery

BT Barrel

In Focus is a series designed to give a little more information about certain distilleries and their products. Even though you may see hundreds of bourbons or ryes on the market the vast majority are made in only a handful of distilleries. There is a growing a craft distillery movement in the world of American whiskey, but that is a topic for a different post. Today we’ll be looking at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky.

In 1870 Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, the man responsible for bonded whiskeys, bought the distillery and named it O.F.C. (Old Fire Copper) Distillery. After investing around $70,000 to help expand the distillery he sold it eight years later. A wholesaler by the name of George T. Stagg purchased the OFC Distillery and really helped to modernize whiskey making with the first climate controlled warehouses. In 1904 the distillery’s name was changed to the George T. Stagg Distillery in honor of it’s great and innovative owner.

After management changes and tough times it was purchased by the New Orleans based Sazerac Company, who still own it today. In 1999 it was renamed the Buffalo Trace Distillery after the legend that the site used to be a path crossed by the American Bison. 1999 is also the year the company put out Buffalo Trace bourbon.

Buffalo Trace produces some of the most highly respected whiskeys in the world but are also not afraid to push the envelope. They have a line of experimental whiskeys focusing on tweaking various areas of the whiskey making process and have started the massive ‘single oak project’ in search of what they call the ‘best’ bourbon. Buffalo Trace, the distillery on the banks of the Kentucky River that can trace it’s roots back to the 1700s is a great example of how quality whiskey should be made.

Here are the brands produced at the distillery

  • Buffalo Trace Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Eagle Rare 10 year Single Barrel
  • Blanton’s Single Barrel
  • Rock Hill Farms
  • Colonel EH Taylor – Small Batch, Single Barrel, Barrel Proof, Straight Rye
  • Ancient Age – Straight Bourbon, 6 year old 10 Star, 10 year old
  • Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel
  • Weller – Weller Special Reserve, Old Weller Antique, Weller 12 year
  • Sazerac Rye
  • Old Charter – 8 year old, 101 proof
  • Benchmark Straight Bourbon
  • Experimental Collection
  • Single Oak Project
  • Van Winkle – 10 year, 12 year, 13 year Rye, Pappy 15 year, Pappy 20 year, Pappy 23 year
  • Antique Collection – George T Stagg, William Larue Weller, Eagle Rare 17, Sazerac 18 Rye, Thomas H. Handy Rye
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