All about making whisky
Located in Frankfort, an hour east of Louisville (the capital of Kentucky), the Buffalo Trace distillery was built close to a ford bridging the Kentucky River, on an extension of a path that was once used by herds of bison. Originally known as the Old Fire Copper (O.F.C.) and renamed George T. Stagg in 1900, it was overseen by Colonel Blanton between 1921 and 1953.
During Prohibition, it was one of the four American distilleries authorised to produce whiskey for medicinal purposes. Renamed Ancient Age in 1969, it has been known as Buffalo Trace since 1999, as seen in the huge letters that feature on its water tower - like something straight out of a western.
A pioneer in more ways than one, it was the first to sell a single barrel bourbon in 1984 - the Blanton’s. It is also the only Kentucky distillery to make five styles of different whiskey: two from rye, one from barley, one from wheat and a 100% pure rye whiskey. This ensures that it boasts the widest range and biggest collection of old American whiskeys.
Specialising in ageing, the distillery is home to over 1,500 experimental barrels that allow it to study different kinds of ageing processes. The innovative Buffalo Trace also makes the only organic corn vodka available, known as Rain Vodka.
It follows, then, that it was voted best distillery of 2005 by both Whisky Magazine and the American publication Malt Advocate.