Buffalo Trace Distillery
Buffalo Trace Distillery
Buffalo Trace Distillery with its filtered water reservoir and distillation pipes.
|Architect:||Oberwarth, Leo L.; Blanton, Albert Bacon|
|Architectural style:||Romanesque, Colonial Revival|
|Added to NRHP:||May 2, 2001|
Buffalo Trace Distillery is a distillery located in Frankfort, Kentucky. It has historically been known by several names, including most notably, the George T. Stagg Distillery and the O.F.C. Distillery. Its namesake bourbon brand, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey, was introduced in August 1999. The Buffalo Trace Distillery stands as the oldest (not necessarily continuously-operating) distilling site in the United States.[unreliable source?] Located on what the company claims was once an ancient buffalo crossing on the banks of the Kentucky River in Franklin County, the distillery is named after the American bison that created paths followed by America's early pioneers. The Sazerac Company, a New Orleans, Louisiana-based producer and importer, purchased the distillery in 1992 and is now the parent company of Buffalo Trace Distillery.
Under its old name, George T. Stagg Distillery, the property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 2, 2001, and designated a National Historic Landmark on March 11, 2013.
The Buffalo Trace Distillery is home to the world's smallest bonded storage warehouse, Warehouse V. This warehouse only stores a single barrel of whiskey at a time.
Records indicate that distilling started on the site that is now the Buffalo Trace Distillery sometime before 1773 by Hancock Lee, who died in 1776. The oldest building on the site, the Riverside house, was constructed in 1792 by Commodore Richard Taylor and is still standing today. The first true distillery was constructed in 1812 by Harrison Blanton. In 1870 the distillery was purchased by Edmund H. Taylor and given its first name, the O.F.C. Distillery. Taylor sold the distillery eight years later to George T. Stagg along with the Old Oscar Pepper Distillery. This second distillery was sold within the year to James Graham[disambiguation needed] in order to add more land to the O.F.C. Distillery. In 1886, Stagg installed steam heating in the storage warehouses, the first climate controlled warehouse for aging whiskey in the nation.
In 1972 Gary Gayheart became the master distiller. After his retirement in 2005, he was succeeded by Harlen Wheatley.
While Buffalo Trace Distillery is mainly known for its bourbon, it also produces other spirits such as rye whiskey and vodka. "Buffalo Trace" is a bourbon brand made by the Distillery. It was introduced in August 1999, two months after the distillery changed its name from the George T. Stagg Distillery. Buffalo Trace is made from corn, rye, and barley malt, and aged in charred oak barrels. Approximately 25–30 barrels are selected and mixed before bottling. It has won some awards since its introduction.
The following spirits are produced by Buffalo Trace Distillery:
|Label||Type of Spirit||Style Notes||Distributor|
|Ancient Age||Kentucky Straight Bourbon||Ancient Age Distillery|
|Blanton's||Single Barrel Bourbon||Blanton Distilling|
|Buffalo Trace||Kentucky Straight Bourbon||Buffalo Trace Distillery|
|Eagle Rare||Single Barrel Bourbon||Old Prentice Company|
|Elmer T. Lee||Single Barrel Bourbon||Buffalo Trace Distillery|
|George T. Stagg||Kentucky Straight Bourbon||Barrel proof||Buffalo Trace Distillery|
|Hancock's President's Reserve||Kentucky Straight Bourbon||Buffalo Trace Distillery|
|Old Charter||Kentucky Straight Bourbon||Old Charter Distillery|
|McAfee's Benchmark||Kentucky Straight Bourbon|
|Rock Hill Farms||Single Barrel Bourbon||Rock Hill Farms|
|Van Winkle||Wheated Bourbon||Old Rip Van Winkle|
|W.L. Weller||Wheated Bourbon||W. L. Weller and Sons|
|Rain||Vodka||100% organic white corn||Buffalo Trace Distillery|
|Sazerac||Rye Whiskey||Buffalo Trace Distillery|
|Thomas H. Handy||Rye Whiskey||Barrel proof||Buffalo Trace Distillery|
Some bourbons produced at the distillery have performed well in international spirit ratings competitions. Buffalo Trace bourbon received a Double Gold Rating at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2012. Eagle Rare received a Gold medal in the 2010 competition  Van Winkle The 12 Year Old Special Reserve was recognized with the "Trophy for Worldwide Whisky" and a Best-In-Class Gold Medallion in the International Wine and Spirit Competition for 2008.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.[dead link]
- Lew Bryson. "Bourbon Company, Bourbon Man Buffalo Trace Distillery & Mark Brown". Malt Advocate. Malt Advocate, Inc. Archived from the original on 2008-01-20. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
- "Buffalo Trace Distillery". Internet Wines. 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-23.
- "The Buffalo Trace Distilling Company". ellenjaye.com. 2001. Retrieved 2007-09-23.
- "Secretary Salazar, Director Jarvis Designate 13 New National Historic Landmarks". 2013 March 11. Retrieved 2013 March 14.
- "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form". National Park Service. March 13, 2001. p. 33. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
- "Critical Acclaim". Buffalo Trace Distillery. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- "Great Bourbon". Buffalo Trace Distillery. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- Buffalo Trace Distillery homepage
- The Sazerac Company homepage
- Buffalo Trace Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries