Buffalo Trace Completes New Phase of Expansion
February 16, 2023 –––––– Madeline Ender
The makeover continues at Buffalo Trace Distillery. The Frankfort, Kentucky-based distillery, which makes whiskeys including Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Weller, Blanton’s, and E.H. Taylor Jr., began a $1.2 billion expansion in 2016 and has been adding new elements to the distillery year by year, including 14 new barrel warehouses, additional cookers, 12 new fermenters, a cooling system, and an expanded visitor center. The newest addition is a stillhouse that “will be in full production in the coming days,” says master distiller Harlen Wheatley. The facility houses a 40-foot tall still that’s a duplicate of the current still and allows them to produce an additional 60,000 gallons a day.
Buffalo Trace has also expanded its tour programs. Visitors can see the new stillhouse and all other aspects of the expansion on one of the distillery’s three tours. The Hard Hat tour, a long-time favorite over the years that was suspended in 2019, is up and running again, this time with a new tour route and sites. Buffalo Trace has also expanded its signature Trace Tour, which now delves more deeply into the bourbon making process through technology and new tour stops in the barrel filling and dumping areas.
The Trace and Hard Hat tours join the Old Taylor tour (which remains unchanged) in the distillery’s visitor offerings which are complimentary. The distillery had 470,507 visitors in 2022, and the expansion means that number stands to grow. The best route to a reservation is through the Buffalo Trace website, with Tuesdays and Wednesdays being the least busy.