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Buffalo Trace Distillery - Story Ideas

A Spirited Trip in Central Kentucky

Buffalo Trace Distillery is a great place to start your bourbon adventure. Centrally located in Frankfort, Buffalo Trace is the most award-winning Distillery in the world and welcomes visitors year round.

As you explore the bourbon region, you'll discover that more than two hundred distilleries were scattered throughout the landscape of central Kentucky before Prohibition. Today, only eight remain and each is as different as the bourbon they produce.

Of the eight remaining, Buffalo Trace holds the record for the oldest continually-operating Distillery in the country. Buffalo Trace Distillery remained operational even during Prohibition—for "medicinal purposes." There has been distillation on the Buffalo Trace site since 1775 and the tradition continues today.  Following in the footsteps of industry legends such as E.H. Taylor, George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton and Elmer T. Lee, our current Master Distiller, Harlen Davis Wheatley, is the Distillery's sixth Master Distiller since the Civil War.

Buffalo Trace Distillery has been named both "Distillery of the Year" and "Distiller of the Year" three times in the last seven years by Whisky Advocate Magazine, Whisky Magazine, Wine Enthusiast Magazineand the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Whisky Magazine named our Visitor Center "Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year" in 2010, besting all of the other visitor centers in the world!

The Distillery welcomes visitors for a first-hand look at what goes into producing America's only native spirit, bourbon, with four distinct tours: the Trace Tour, Hard Hat Tour, Post Prohibition Tour and the new Ghost Tour. All of the tours last about an hour and are complimentary.

On the Trace Tour, you'll learn the ABC's of bourbon: aging, barrel and corn as one of the Distillery's expert tour guides take you through each step of the bourbon making process.  Learn the origins of Buffalo Trace Distillery, bourbon in Kentucky, and Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

As you step into Warehouse C, built in 1881, you will feel the cool breeze and your olfactory senses will delight in the most heavenly aroma, the "angel's share," just as the pioneers of the industry were more than a century ago. "Angel's share" is the wonderful smell of bourbon as it evaporates. Warehouse C holds approximately 24,000 barrels of aging whiskey, each one carefully placed to create a specific brand and taste profile.

In Blanton's Bottling Hall, where all the premium bourbons of Buffalo Trace are bottled, you will see each step of the labor-intensive bottling process. Each bottle is filled, corked and sealed by hand—the labels on some brands, such as Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon, are even hand-written! The folks on the bottling line are incredibly friendly and happy to answer questions.

The Trace Tours are available year round: Monday – Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. No reservations are required. Tours depart every hour on the hour.

The Hard Hat Tour takes the bourbon-making process one step further, taking guests behind-the-scenes to see where the magic happens. From the grain delivery to the cooking process to the fermentation tanks, you will see it all firsthand. There is even a stop by the E. H. Taylor, Jr. Microstill, responsible for making Buffalo Trace's award winning and awe-inspiring Experimental Collection whiskies.

The Hard Hat Tour is available at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. during distilling season, which is Sept-April. Although the tour is complimentary, reservations are required. Visitors are encouraged to come early or stay after to take the Trace Tour in addition to the Hard Hat Tour to really get the full bourbon education experience!

Buffalo Trace's Post Prohibition Tour exposes visitors to the architecture and history of the Post Prohibition bourbon industry. The end of Prohibition was a new beginning for the Distillery. Surviving Prohibition as one of only four distilleries to remain operational for "medicinal purposes," America was suddenly a very thirsty nation again after Repeal. Witness the building boom which occurred during this time (1930's-1950's) and get a peek at some of the future plans for Buffalo Trace Distillery as well. Please call for tour times.

Apparently, there are more spirits than those aging in the warehouses at Buffalo Trace Distillery, as the Distillery has been rumored to be haunted for years. Now visitors can determine for themselves as they take the Ghost Tour, and hear legendary stories as they try to spot the most famous Distillery ghost, Col. Blanton.  Rumor has it he's been haunting the Stony Point Mansion where he died in 1959. This tour will take you to the rarely-toured Stony Point Mansion, as well as several other sites as seen on the popular TV show "Ghost Hunters."  Please call for tour times.

As each tour concludes you'll receive a small sample of Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, the distillery's flagship brand, along with one other award-winning product made at Buffalo Trace Distillery. Buffalo Trace is a small-batch bourbon, about 35 hand-selected barrels go into each batch of Buffalo Trace. It is aged between eight and ten years and is 90 proof. Following the bourbon sample is a Buffalo Trace Bourbon Ball. This is a chocolate candy with a creamy bourbon-flavored center—a sweet ending to a fascinating and historic journey.

For more information about visiting Buffalo Trace Distillery, please call 800-654-8471 or go to

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