Media Kit

History

Throughout
the challenges of floods, fires, tornadoes and even Prohibition, the American family owned Buffalo Trace Distillery has never compromised. A timeless dedication to respecting the past while fearlessly innovating for the future has served the Distillery well for more than two centuries. No matter the challenge, be it mother nature or man, the people of Buffalo Trace Distillery have been part of the story that shaped America and the spirit industry as well.

To explore our history, click and drag
1771 -

Daniel Boone passes through Lee's Town on the buffalo trace

1773 -

McAfee brothers and Hancock Taylor survey the Lee's Town site; Kentucky is known as Fincastle County, part of Virginia

1786Hancock Lee receives title to the land at Lee's Town

1792 -

Commodore Richard Taylor builds "The Old Taylor House"; the one-story stone house is still on the site today

1792 -

Kentucky becomes the 15th state in the Union

1811 -

A three-story stone warehouse is built on the Kentucky River near Riverside to store goods, including many barrels of whiskey, awaiting shipment to as far away as New Orleans; Benjamin Harrison Blanton is said to distill on site in upcoming years

1858 -

A small but up-to-date distillery is developed by Daniel Swigert using warehouse and Riverside site

1870 -

Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. purchases the Distillery and christens it "O. F. C." – in reference to the belief that the finest whiskey was produced in old-fashioned wood-fired copper stills

1872 -

E. H. Taylor, Jr. invests over $70,000, a "small fortune," as he builds a new distillery on the site

1878 -

The O.F.C. Distillery is purchased by George T. Stagg along with the adjacent livestock farm; Taylor continues to oversee operations Learn more about George T. Stagg

1881 -

Warehouse A and Warehouse B are built; still standing today

1882 -

Lightning strikes and burns the O.F.C. Distillery in "The Great Fire;" it is rebuilt immediately in a yet grander manner at a cost of $44,000 over and above the insurance collected

1883 -

The newly rebuilt distillery included a large mashing and fermenting wing which remains intact today as the Dickel Building

1885 -

The Construction of Warehouse C, still standing today, completes Taylor’s vision for his "Model Distillery Plant of the World"

1886 -

Steam heating system for the warehouses is installed, making this the first distillery to use steam heat which is still in use today

1897 -

Albert B. Blanton joins the company as an officeboy at age 16 Learn more about Albert B. Blanton

1900 -

The Gilded Age ends and Albert B. Blanton is appointed as Still House, Warehouse and Bottling Superintendent

1904 -

The Distillery is re-christened as the George T. Stagg Distillery

1919 -

The 18th Amendment establishing Prohibition in Jan. 1920 is ratified and the Volstead Act is passed to guide its enforcement. Distillery is one of very few to receive permit to bottle medicinal whiskey and even fewer permitted to produce new whiskey from 1930 to 1933

1921 -

Albert B. Blanton becomes President of the George T. Stagg Distillery

1929 -

The Distillery is purchased by Schenley Distillers Corporation

1933 -

Prohibition ends with only four distilleries in Kentucky capable of producing whiskey

1933 -

Schenley begins a massive expansion program that culminates in 1935-1937 with a new state-of-the-art distillery complex

1935 -

Warehouse H, the Distillery’s only “metal-clad” warehouse, is the first of seven massive new warehouses built before World War II

1937 -

The great flood inundates the Distillery, cresting at 17 feet above the power plant, four feet above Warehouse H

1942 -

The Distillery produces its one millionth barrel after Prohibition

1949 -

Elmer T. Lee joins the Distillery Learn more about Elmer T. Lee

1953 -

Warehouse "V," the world's only "single barrel" warehouse, is built in celebration of the two millionth barrel

1984 -

The Distillery introduces Blanton's, the world's first single-barrel bourbon

1992 -

The Distillery is finally returned to a family-owned business, being purchased by the Sazerac Company

1999 -

Distillery renovations are completed and rechristened as the Buffalo Trace Distillery. The Distillery's new flagship brand - Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey - is launched

2000 -

Buffalo Trace Distillery is awarded Whisky Advocate's "Distillery of the Year" - the first American Distillery to win this prestigious international award

2005 -

Harlen Wheatley becomes Master Distiller of Buffalo Trace Distillery

2008 -

The Distillery produces the six millionth barrel after Prohibition

2010 -

Distillery is named Whisky Magazine's "Visitor Attraction of the Year"

2011 -

Recognized as "Brand Innovator of the Year" by Whisky Magazine

2013 -

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye is named World Whisky of the Year by Jim Murray's Whisky Bible

2013 -

Buffalo Trace Distillery is named a National Historic Landmark

2013 -

Elmer T. Lee passes away just a few weeks shy of his 94th birthday

2014 -

Distillery is named Whiskey Magazine's "Whiskey Distiller of the Year, America" by Whisky Magazine

2015 -

Buffalo Trace Distillery is named “Innovator of the Year” by Whisky Magazine

As

the next chapter of Buffalo Trace Distillery unfolds, we remain proud of our heritage as well as excited to boldly blaze new trails.