The Buffalo Trace distillery, which recently just released the final bourbon bottlings in its Single Oak Project, is one very busy Kentucky operation. The brains behind such popular whiskey brands as Ancient Age, the Antique Collection, Benchmark, Blanton’s, Eagle Rare, Elmer T. Lee, Hancock’s, Old Charter, Old Taylor, Rock Hill Farms, Sazerac, Stagg Jr., Van Winkle and W.L. Weller always has something afoot at their visitor friendly facilities, so much so they emailed out today a big update on some very cool happenings you’ll want to know about. I’ve boiled down this to some meaty bullet points below for your consideration.
- The completion of Warehouse X at the beginning of last year was later followed by the first set of barrels being brought in this past summer to this experimental facility. It is here, in four independently operating chambers, that Buffalo Trace is testing a range of variables, such as prolonged exposure to natural light, to see how they influence whiskey aging in these barrels.
- The visitor center, which last year alone saw over 100,000 people pass through, is getting an overhaul of sorts to accommodate such large crowds. Buffalo Trace said the building, originally constructed in 1881, has a second floor in “original condition” which will become phase two of where visitors can spend their time. This area, when it is complete by mid-2015, will offer an additional tasting area, among other updates.
- In regards to other expansion, two items are of note. The first is that Buffalo Trace last year acquired 233 acres of land adjacent to its distillery. This land, besides being available for new aging warehouses, will also play host to corn and other grains for a so called “farm to table” bourbon which should be available in a few years’ time.
- In the other expansion news item, Buffalo Trace got back through acquisition aging warehouses R, S, T and U. They had been sold off back in the 1970s and 80s and converted to office space. Conversion has already happened once again to bring them back to their original warehousing nature, giving the distillery a total footprint of 376 acres. On this large spread of land it now “has 125 buildings, spanning four centuries of construction – 1700s, 1800s, 1900s and 2000s.”
- And, finally, in an item I’ll likely order for myself, a coffee table book has come for sale in the past few months on the distillery which has over 200 color photos of the historical facilities. It is pricing for around $40 through Buffalo Trace, but you can pick it up for a little less as well through Amazon if you want.
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...