Buffalo Trace is to Whiskey as Baseball is to America; they are inescapably bound together. The distilleries name is suggested to have come from a historic buffalo crossing on the banks of the Kentucky River and it is arguably one of the oldest if not THE oldest continuously operating distillery in America. During Prohibition whilst many distilleries shuttered their doors, it was allowed to remain open to make whiskey for “medicinal purposes.” I medicate with their products regularly and can fully attest to the healing powers of the Buffalo Trace brand.
The volume of whiskey that is produced by Buffalo Trace each year is incredible, with an estimated 2.65 million gallons produced. It’s hard to visualize the volume of magical brown water that is, so imagine if you will, a pool (yes, fine, you're swimming in it) that is nearly two football fields in length and as wide and tall as a semi-trailer. That's a fair bit of whiskey by any standard! Although it's a very recognizable brand, not many know the true breadth of the label - even I myself haven't fully explored the depths of the Buffalo Trace brand - but you can bet that I'm working on it. Below, I work through providing a comprehensive review of the full BT lineup and how hard you're going to have to work to find a bottle!
Underneath the Buffalo Trace moniker there are a pile of different whiskey’s and I’m going to talk about them in tranches – Exceedingly Rare, Tough to Find, and Available. Although I use the phrase “available” it’s important to note that all of Buffalo Trace’s whiskeys are "allocated," which simply put means that they parse out a specific number of bottles to each state. Some states may see more of one brand than another; for example, something that’s common to find in Texas may be impossible to find in Minnesota and vice versa. To learn more about allocated bottles and how to score a rare bottle, see my post on “A Guide to Rare Bourbon Hunting” here.
Under the heading "exceedingly rare" are a pile of what would affectionately be referred to as "unicorns" by most standards. These are bottles that many won't see...ever...outside of a classy bourbon bar with a price tag that will certainly lighten your wallet. These are the who's who of bourbon bottles, and read much like taking a walk down Hollywood Boulevard and reciting names off the Walk of Fame.
The bottles within this category are not unicorns, but some are pretty darn tough to put hands on. Some of these I've been lucky enough to find out in the wild (that means at a store, not nestled in a cavity of a log in a nature preserve somewhere). These are a mid-tier group of bottles that are going to make you work to find them.
The bourbons that fit in this category are generally procurable, though regionally may be difficult to find. Don't let these bourbons fool you either, some are downright delicious and I may or may not keep a stash of some just in case they cease to be as "available" in the future...call me a "whiskey prepper."
Find all you need to know (and then some) about Buffalo Trace brands and bourbon reviews right here on the blog. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updates, contests, and special bourbon features.