For you fine liquor fans, what is the oldest continuously-operating distillery in the United States? Since I am in Kentucky, you can surmise it is here. They also claim that within the last decade they have won more awards than any other distillery IN THE WORLD.
Long before there was a Frankfort, or a Lexington, this particular area was part of a major path of migration for buffalo. It was here that their trail (or “trace”) crossed a shallow part of the Kentucky River. This was a good location for settlement, which is what Hancock McAfee and Willis Lee established in 1775, where they began distillation.
The first distillery was constructed in 1812 by Harrison Blanton. In 1870 the distillery was purchased by Edmund H. Taylor and given its first name, the Old Fire Copper (O.F.C.) Distillery, which you can see on various buildings.
The distillery had been sold and resold numerous times. During Prohibition, the distillery was allowed to remain operational, in order to make whiskey for “medicinal purposes”. In June 1999, under new owners, the distillery changed it’s name to Buffalo Trace to rebrand it’s products and expand it’s marketing.
Warehouse C was built in 1885 and has 5 floors. The taste of the whisky is altered by which floor it is on. The lower floors are cooler than the upper. This warehouse holds 24,000 barrels.
Another building housed the site for the bottling of their premium small batch bourbons and whiskies. Today, they were bottling Blanton’s single barrel bourbon. Each step of the bottling process is carried out by hand.
Barbara bent her elbow at the tasting bar. She gets double, since I don’t drink. They did have Rebecca-Ruth Bourbon Balls, which I did eat (we also visited her factory earlier, but they did not allow pictures).