Freddie Johnson is a third generation employee at Buffalo Trace Distillery and serves as its Distillery VIP Visitor Lead. Born in Paris, KY (Bourbon County), he spent some of his early childhood summers in the mountains of Breathitt County with his maternal grandfather who was a coal miner and friend to the moonshiners. The family moved to Frankfort, KY when he was five. Freddie enjoyed hunting, fishing and hanging out with his paternal grandfather, Jimmy Johnson Sr., and father, Jimmy Johnson Jr., at what is now known as Buffalo Trace Distillery.
Freddie was in the middle of a successful career as a network/operations engineer in Atlanta, GA when he put all of it aside to fulfill a promise made to his father, Jimmy, more than 20 years earlier. He had promised his father that he would work at the Distillery during his lifetime so they could say they had three generations of the Johnson family that worked at Buffalo Trace. Freddie took early retirement and moved back to care for his father and brother. Jimmy got him a job as a tour guide at the Distillery in 2002 but Freddie has been in and around the Distillery since he was five years old.
Freddie weaves together his childhood memories with the Distillery’s rich history as his entertains thousands each year in various tours around Buffalo Trace. One of the Distillery’s most popular and highly sought after tour guides, Freddie is the recipient of the 2015 ROSE (Recognition of Service Excellence) Award, the 2017 Lexington (Ky) Hospitality Award and was inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame in 2018.