The Buffalo Trace Tour: A Photo and Video Journey

There are few distilleries more iconic in Kentucky then Buffalo Trace. Established as a National Historic Landmark and making whiskey for more than 200 years, the campus which is this distillery is now some 440 acres large and hosts approximately 100 buildings which are for the most part in use today. Over 300,000 barrels of mostly bourbon are spread across 15 aging warehouses here, and there is a gentle balance maintained between automation and hand holding when it comes to that whiskey which ultimately ends up in the bottle you are pouring from.

I recently had the chance to take a special behind the scenes Buffalo Trace tour during my Kentucky visit. Since much of the story of this distillery is known in bits and pieces to our readers already from our extensive coverage of them, this article will instead be a photographic and video focused journey of what goes into making everything from Buffalo Trace bourbon to Pappy Van Winkle and beyond.

Buffalo Trace tour

You’ve arrived at Buffalo Trace (image copyright The Whiskey Wash)

Buffalo Trace tour

Getting a bird’s eye view of part of the Buffalo Trace campus (image copyright The Whiskey Wash)

Buffalo Trace tour

Buffalo Trace barrels waiting to be filled (image copyright The Whiskey Wash)

A giant empty Buffalo Trace fermenting tank (video copyright The Whiskey Wash)

Buffalo Trace as it enters the fermenting stage (video copyright The Whiskey Wash)

Buffalo Trace tour

These stills are where the Buffalo Trace experimental bourbons are made (image copyright The Whiskey Wash)

Buffalo Trace tour

You can try Buffalo Trace white spirit from this tap head (image copyright The Whiskey Wash)

Leftovers after the Buffalo Trace distillation process. (video copyright The Whiskey Wash)

Buffalo Trace tour

A regular Buffalo Trace aging warehouse (image copyright The Whiskey Wash)

The path Buffalo Trace barrels follow between warehouses (video copyright The Whiskey Wash)

Buffalo Trace tour

Mystery whiskey aging inside a Buffalo Trace warehouse (image copyright The Whiskey Wash)

That's a lot of Buffalo Trace whiskey passing the time in barrel! (image copyright The Whiskey Wash)

That’s a lot of Buffalo Trace whiskey passing the time in barrel! (image copyright The Whiskey Wash)

Buffalo Trace tour

A Buffalo Trace aging warehouse with just one barrel (image copyright The Whiskey Wash)

Buffalo Trace tour

The ultra-experimental Warehouse X at Buffalo Trace (image copyright The Whiskey Wash)

Buffalo Trace tour

Hand labeling Blanton’s at Buffalo Trace (image copyright The Whiskey Wash)

Hand bottling of Van Winkle rye whiskey. (video copyright The Whiskey Wash)

Buffalo Trace tour

Van Winkle rye whiskey fresh off the hand bottling line (image copyright The Whiskey Wash)

Buffalo Trace tour

Part of the manicured grounds at Buffalo Trace (image copyright The Whiskey Wash)

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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...