Buffalo Trace Brand | The Definitive Guide

March 31, 2022
Buffalo Trace Brand | The Definitive Guide

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!

Buffalo Trace Brand Categories

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.

Exceedingly Rare Bourbon

Pappy Van Winkle; Buffalo Trace Brand; Buffalo Trace bourbons and whiskey

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.  

  • O.F.C. Vintages
  • Double Eagle Very Rare
  • Van Winkle Collection
  • Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year
  • Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year
  • Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 Year
  • Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year
  • Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year
  • Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year
  • Antique Collection
  • Eagle Rare 17-Year-Old
  • George T. Stagg
  • Sazerac Rye 18-Year-Old
  • Thomas H. Handy
  • William Larue Weller
  • E.H. Taylor Special Releases
  • E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof
  • E.H. Taylor Old Fashioned Sour Mash
  • E.H. Taylor Warehouse C Tornado Surviving
  • E.H. Taylor Cured Oak
  • E.H. Taylor Seasoned Wood
  • E.H. Taylor Four Grain
  • E.H. Taylor Amaranth
  • E.H. Taylor 18 Year Marriage
  • E.H. Taylor Warehouse C Bourbon
  • W.L. Weller Single Barrel
  • Old Charter Oak Collection
  • Canadian Oak
  • Chinkapin Oak
  • French Oak
  • Mongolian Oak

Tough to Find Bourbon

Rare bourbon; Buffalo Trace Brand; Weller 12; single barrel bourbon

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.  

  • Blanton’s Gold
  • Blanton’s Single Barrel
  • Blanton’s Straight from the Barrel
  • Eagle Rare
  • E.H. Taylor Small Batch
  • E.H. Taylor Single Barrel
  • E.H. Taylor Straight Rye
  • Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel
  • Experimental Collection
  • Rock Hills Farm
  • Kosher Collection
  • Wheat Recipe
  • Straight Rye
  • Rye Recipe
  • Single Oak Project
  • Weller Line
  • W.L. Weller Antique
  • W.L. Weller 12 Year
  • W.L. Weller Full Proof
  • W.L. Weller C.Y.P.B.

Available Bourbon

Weller Special Reserve; Buffalo Trace Brand

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."

  • Ancient Age
  • Bourbon Cream
  • Buffalo Trace Bourbon
  • Old Charter
  • Sazerac Rye
  • W.L. Weller Special Reserve
  • Benchmark Collection
  • Benchmark Top Floor
  • Benchmark Small Batch
  • Benchmark Bonded
  • Benchmark Full Proof
  • Benchmark Single Barrel
  • White Dog Collection
  • Mash #1
  • Wheat Mash
  • Rye Mash

Learn More about the Buffalo Trace Brand at Bourboneur.com

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.

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