Buffalo Trace Distillery Becomes More Tourist Friendly

Buffalo Trace Distillery Becomes More Tourist Friendly

By Nino Marchetti / June 30, 2015

The uber-historic Buffalo Trace distillery in Kentucky is already quite the visitor attraction for those making the pilgrimage to bourbon country. The sprawling whiskey campus, as of late, has been under going some renovations and changes to keep up with tourism needs, and now a couple of just announced completions will make it that much more friendly to all who stop by.

Buffalo Trace distillery

The Buffalo Trace distillery (image via Buffalo Trace)

The biggest change of note, according to Buffalo Trace, was an overhaul of its visitor center. Originally constructed in 1881, this historic building saw over 100,000 people pass through just last year alone. To accommodate the growing bourbon hoards, a vertical expansion into the second floor added 5,500 more usable square feet. As mentioned by the distillery,

a newly constructed grand staircase made of white oak leads to the beautiful new space, which is complete with four additional tasting bar areas and a new meeting and event space. At the top of the grand staircase, guests are welcomed to the second floor by a huge mural of a landscape of the Distillery. A collection of historic article clippings and photos from the Distillery archives can also be viewed on the wall at the top of the stairs.

Future additions from the Distillery archives are already being planned for the second floor, including the construction of a vault. The vault will be built into the back wall to hold rare, old bottles and display them in a unique, interactive way for guests to view. Display cases featuring old bottles and artifacts will also be installed on the second floor, including one dedicated to the Single Oak Project. 

By expanding upward, the first floor now has ample space for Gift Shop merchandise and features a new checkout counter and dedicated spirits space. Additionally, new bathrooms have been installed on both floors.

Meanwhile, on another part of the campus, the late 1700s era Old Taylor House, which had begun to deteriorate, has been restored to preserve its history. This building, the oldest residential dwelling in the county, was “originally built for Commodore Richard Taylor who served as superintendent of navigation on the Kentucky River and who was great-grandfather to Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr.”

The rejuvenated home, in which evidence of its long history is preserved throughout, sports beautiful hardwood floors and fresh paint. A lab on the second floor displays old beakers and artifacts once used within, and the home as a whole will be incorporated by Buffalo Trace into some of its tours.

While all of this is going on the distillery is also making use of adjacent land it recently acquired to farm its own crops for an eventual estate bourbon, among other projects.