I love Bourbon, so when I was offered the chance to take a personal tour of Buffalo Trace Distillery and see how some of the best Bourbons were made I had to jump on the chance! Buffalo Trace is the parent company of some of the best (and most sought) Bourbons in the world. With brands such as Blanton’s, Pappy Van Winkle, and more, I got the chance to really dive into the process and the people behind the Bourbon!
Buffalo Trace Distillery is the oldest continually running distillery in the country and boasts over 40 award-winning distillery titles since the year 2000. These titles include both American and Global Distiller of the Year. They have won these awards on two principals alone (in my opinion). Making great Bourbon, and preserving their history!
One thing most people will be surprised to hear is that every Bourbon that comes from Buffalo Trace starts with the same mash build. 3 separate mash builds are the basic building block for every drop of bourbon that comes from Buffalo Trace. Yes, that is correct… the only thing that is different between Buffalo Trace and Pappy Van Winkle 23 is the time and temperature the bourbon is in the barrel!
During my time, I got to see the amazing production process from grain arrival all the way to the bottling of these amazing products. While there, I asked about the availability of some of these amazing products and what the distillery was doing to make sure great Bourbon gets into the hands of people around the world.
First off, Buffalo Trace is doubling their production of these products in the next year. From cooking mash, placing the product into the barrels, all the way to bottling, Buffalo Trace Distillery is committed to bringing the same great product to a self near you! Don’t get too excited yet, it still takes years for the great mash to turn into Bourbon!
Also, while I was there I had the chance to see something that no one else had the chance to see. If you have been on a Bourbon or whiskey tour, you have seen a Rickhouse which is the building that houses the barrels for aging purposes. Well, while I was there, I had the chance to see a secret spot that is guarded and kept under lock and key!
This spot houses the best of the best that Buffalo Trace has to offer. This climate-controlled Rickhouse holds not only the top shelf Bourbons such as Van Winkle but also secret Bourbon collections that the Master Distiller and his team at Buffalo Trace are working on for amazing new products to be released in the future!
What sets this distillery and brand apart from other distilleries in the area? First, tours and tastings are completely free! Yes, you heard me, free! With that being said, these tours book EXTREMELY fast and can be booked online here! Secondly, is the fact that almost every single day, Buffalo Trace releases some of the most popular allocated bottles to those who visit the distillery! You do not know which bottle is being released until that day and you can only buy one bottle per person to help allow these products to go into the hands of the people who love and appreciate them, not the ones who love to sell them!
I want to thank the team at Buffalo Trace Distillery for allowing me a private look into what goes into my favorite Bourbon brand! Cheers to all your success and what the future holds for not only your distillery but also for finding that Pappy bottle that I am searching for! Lastly, to Freddie, if you read this, thank you for the words of wisdom that you shared with me about your legacy and how Bourbon should be shared with friends and family, not saved!