Buffalo Trace Distillery was previously known as Old Fire Copper Distillery. The history of the brand incorporates a catastrophic lightning strike, prohibitions by the government, a devastating flood, and a major rivalry with gin and vodka-producing companies back in the early 1970s and 80s. Buffalo Trace Distillery is the most awarded and respected whiskey-maker in America. Here, we will take a closer look at the 10 things you didn’t know about Buffalo Trace Distillery.
1. Buffalo Trace Distillery is the oldest bourbon distillery in America
Buffalo Trace distillery has a rich history in the United States that dates back to the late 1700s and has featured several legends such as; Albert B. Blanton, E.H. Taylor Jr., Elmer T. Lee, and George T. Stagg. The brand is probably the oldest continuously operating distillery in the United States and happens to have one of the largest homegrown brands in any industry. According to Forwhiskeylovers, Buffalo Trace Distillery was launched back in 1775 by Hancock Lee and his blood brother Willis Lee who later died in 1776. Distilling on the site started in 1812 and was initiated by Harrison Blanton but was later sold to Edmund H. Taylor in 1870 and renamed as the Old Fire Copper (O.F.C.) Distillery. The Bourbon Trace Distillery was allowed to remain operational during Prohibition by the government in order to brew whiskey for “medicinal purposes.” The original 1873 distillery building was burnt down in 1882 along with the remains of the laborers. In October 2016, the original distillery foundation was renovated to a more expanded meeting and event space.
2. The barrels are charred and only used once
The barrel staves used in the Bourbon Trace Distillery that store the superb liquor are usually toasted to extract caramelized sugars from the wood also referred to as a bung. The barrels are usually made out of oak wood, as it is much softer; meaning it requires minimal toasting. Unlike what most critics believe, no TP is used in the bunghole. Once the barrel staves have been used, they are no longer used to brew bourbon whiskey again but are sometimes recycled to be used for aging Scotch.
3. The Bourbon Trace distillery is haunted.
With a legendary history dating back to around 200 years, it is highly possible that bizarre activity exists at the Bourbon Trace distillery. According to comments made by some visitors to the distillery, they claimed to have been told actual historical accounts and bone-chilling events that happened in the distillery. Moreover, the distillery offers ghost tours guides to its visitors during the weekends, where you will have a chance to learn and feel part of these legendary stories as well as see proof through pictures and haunted sites on the property.
4. Their corn is 100% non-GMO
Corn is one of the essential ingredients used in brewing bourbon whiskey, as it makes between 70 and 80% of this splendid liquor. Looking for the best ingredients for its bourbon has always been a major priority at Buffalo Trace Distillery. They get their corn in truckloads from the local farmers in Indiana and Kentucky. The corn is first thoroughly inspected, and if it does not meet the expected criteria, it is not bought and sent back to the farmer. If you happen to be part of the Hard Hat Tour at the Bourbon Trace distillery, you will get to see where the kernels are placed and keenly follow the production process as they are transformed into enjoyable liquor.
5. Considered a favorite to Notable People
According to Whiskyloot, the Buffalo Trace bottles are graced with a number of notable names, who played a major role in the distillery’s legendary past. Below is a quick list of some of these prominent names:
- Edward H. Taylor, Jr.: Taylor donated funding to several distillers and later bought the distillery from Harrison Blanton, renaming it as the Old Fire Copper (O.F.C.) distillery. He was also instrumental in getting the Bottled-in-Bond of 1897 through Congress.
- William Larue Weller: Weller was the inventor of wheated bourbon whiskey. He also played a vital role in the distilling, tinkering, and brewery education done in the mid-1800s. Much of Weller’s work became so popular that his thumb was printed on each Bourbon bottle for authenticity.
6. The Bottled in bond Act
The United States government decided to pass the Bottled in Bond AActin 1897 to protect the distillers and consumers from blended, diluted, and low-quality liquor products. The Act states that the liquor must be the product of one distiller from a single distillery brand using brewing products from only one distillation period. In its efforts to adhere to this Act Bourbon Trace Distillery stores its liquor bottles in federal warehouses for four years under strict supervision from the relevant authorities.
7. The distillery was continuously operational during Prohibition.
The Bourbon Trace Distillery was allowed to continue its operations by the government during Prohibition for medicinal purposes. That said, if you probably got sick during Prohibition, the chances are that your medicinal whiskey was from Buffalo Trace Distillery. However, for you to obtain a bottle of “medicinal” whiskey, you had to present a prescription from your healthcare provider or one from your local pharmacy.
8. A national historic landmark
Buffalo Trace Distillery was declared a National Historic Landmark back in 2013. This declaration was heavily influenced by the distillery being the oldest and largest continuously operating whiskey distillery in America.
9. An online gift shop
Buffalo Trace Distillery has an online gift shop fully packed with authentic Buffalo Trace products, including candles, hats, barbeque sauce, shot glasses, shirts, and many other exciting stuff. However, they do not sell their splendid bourbon whiskey in the online gift shop, but you can purchase one at the various liquor stores.
10. Produces one of the expensive whiskeys on the market
According to Oaksdelivery, Buffalo Trace whiskey is perfectly distilled, aged, and bottled at the most award-winning distillery on the globe. Their bourbon whiskey is made from the finest rye, corn, and barley malt for a rich, splendid taste. For example, the Double Eagle bourbon is a 20-year old whiskey presented in a silver container that lights up when opened. The price tag of the most expensive whiskey at Bourbon Trace costs between $15,000 and $20,000.
Buffalo Trace Distillery has historically been known by numerous names, including the Old Fashioned Copper (O.F.C.) Distillery and George T. Stagg Distillery. The distillery is currently located in Frankfort, Kentucky, and is owned by the Sazerac Company.