Buffalo Trace has been my favorite distillery for as long as I can remember. This is an operation that has produced some of the most superior libations I have ever tasted – Pappy Van Winkle, Blantons, Ancient Age, Sazerac…Buffalo Trace really has their act together.
A Very Short History of Buffalo Trace
The Buffalo Trace Bourbon Distillery is the oldest distilling site in the United States. It’s located in Frankfort, Kentucky the home state where bourbon originated. Although historically known by several names, including the notable George T. Stagg Distillery and the O.F.C Distillery it is most notably known as the Buffalo Trace Distillery. They introduced its self-titled bourbon brand, called Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon whisky ( the location of the distillery was once an ancient buffalo crossing on the banks of the Kentucky River in Franklin County).
Buffalo Trace Distillery makes an interesting tourist attraction, and has played a key role in American distilling history. If you are looking for the distillery in the National Register of Historic Places it can be found under its old name called the George T. Stagg Distillery. Buffalo Trace is home to the world’s smallest bonded storage warehouse (Warehouse V) which only stores a single barrel of bourbon at a time. Talk about precision!
The site that Buffalo Trace stands on today has been operational since1773, with the O.F.C Distillery later being erected on site. After being sold and renamed to George T. Stagg, the distillery was purchased by the Sazerac Company in 1992 and it is now the parent company of Buffalo Trace Distillery. It remains a bourbon distillery, but the operation also produces rye whisky, bitters, and Vodka.
Some legendary products that have come from Buffalo Trace include Ancient Age, Blantons (marketed as the world’s first single-barrel bourbon), Buffalo Trace bourbon, and Old Rip Van Winkle/ Pappy Van Winkle. Here’s just a little more information on each:
Ancient Age is a brand of bourbon distilled in Frankfort, Kentucky by the Buffalo Trace Company, it is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon, and is distributed by the Ancient Age Distillery.
Blantons is the worlds first single barrel bourbon, and comes in one of the most beautiful bottles I have seen. Each horseman atop Blantons is in a different position, emulating the course of a horse-race and each cap has a letter imprinted on the horse that spells out the word “BLANTONS” in succession.
The signature bourbon from Buffalo Trace Distillery is bottled at the most award winning distillery in the world, the Buffalo Trace Distillery. It is made from the finest corn, rye and barley malt and aged in new oak barrels. With rich taste and hits of vanilla, toffee and candied fruit its smooth finish lingers on the palate.
Single barrel bourbon with 45% alc. Vol, 90 proof, introduced in 1975.
Elmer T. Lee
Another single barrel bourbon named after the man himself. It is rumored that Elmer T. Lee still visits the Buffalo Trace grounds each Monday.
George T. Stagg
A limited production bourbon whisky as part of the “antique collection. It is a high proof uncut, and unfiltered bourbon, aged approximately 15 years. Distributed once a year in the Fall, it is 141.4 proof.
Hankock’s President’s Reserve
A single barrel bourbon, 88.9 proof, sold as a straight bourbon.
A great mixer and well bourbon; 80 proof and has been around since the 60’s.
Established in 1874, 86 proof and available in 8 year, 10 year, and 101 proof bottles.
Old Rip Van Winkle/ Pappy Van Winkle
A wheated bourbon owned by the Rip Van Winkle distillery, but still distributed and distilled by Buffalo Trace. Introduced in 1892 as a 90.4 proof whiskey.
Straight bourbon, named after Edmund Haynes Taylor Jr. Kentucky’s original bourbon aristocrats.
Rock Hill Farms Single
A single barrel, 100 proof bourbon whiskey.
Composed of corn, and secondary grain used is wheat as opposed to rye. It is 90 and 107 proof, introduced in 1849.
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