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Some Buffalo Trace Bourbons Remain Very Hard To Find

Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace Distillery sits in a location sporting a fine distilling tradition dating back to the late 1700s. Demand for whiskey made from here has risen and fallen over the years since then as tastes in the drinking public have changed, with the most current trend definitely being on the rising side. This is reflected in a report released today taking about the Buffalo Trace bourbons, in which one learns most of these whiskey brands “remain on allocation” and are thus frustratingly hard to find by the general public, despite the fact supplies of fully aged whiskey at the distillery continue to increase.

Of all the bourbon brands Buffalo Trace releases, ones such as Elmer T. Lee, Rock Hill Farms, Van Winkle and the Antique Collection (George T. Stagg, William Larue Weller, Sazerac 18, Thomas H. Handy, and Eagle Rare 17) fall into the allocation category. There’s reportedly simply just not enough supply of these available to meet demand, so if you come across a bottle or two of one or more of these in your local liquor store, consider yourself lucky.

Buffalo Trace barrels
Buffalo Trace barrels with whiskey awaiting their day. (image via Buffalo Trace)

Also, if you do find an allocated one and feel it happens to be overpriced, don’t blame the distillery, as they said they haven’t raised their suggested prices to take advantage of this demand. In fact, according to them, “although some stores may charge a premium for Buffalo Trace’s limited brands, the Distillery is not asking them to do so.”

So if you want something from Buffalo Trace at this point in time, you may have better luck finding bottlings from their Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Blanton’s, Weller, Sazerac Rye, Stagg Jr., and E. H. Taylor, Jr brands. These whiskies, while in shortly supply, “benefit slightly from increased production more than a decade ago.” This makes it more likely you’ll find one waiting for you when you are browsing a bourbon shelf.

Looking forward, there are reportedly no plans to discontinue brands, and in fact it is noted there will continue to be focus “on quality and making more.” To this end, in addition to previous improvements announced

in 2014 such as distilling more whiskey, adding more bottling lines, and hiring more people, [the distillery said it] is taking additional steps to prepare for a growing future.  The Distillery recently purchased an additional 300 acres of farmland adjacent to its current land where it intends to grow its own grains for a farm-to-table bourbon, plus potentially build more barrel warehouses.

Additionally, former barrel warehouse buildings repurchased a few years ago on the main campus of Buffalo Trace are being re-ricked and used again as barrel storage warehouses, and plans are in the works to re-rick additional buildings on site in the next few years.

“Not a day goes by that we don’t hear from fans asking why they can’t find their favorite whiskey at the local liquor store,” said Kris Comstock, Buffalo Trace’s bourbon marketing director, in a statement, “so we are offering an annual update to inform people where we stand, and ensure fans we are distilling more whiskey and planning for the future.”

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the former founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award-winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y globally. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert, and judge, he has written extensively about the subject, been interviewed in various media outlets, and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions.

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