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Nothing Celebrates the Holiness of Christmas Like Bourbon Visiting Buffalo Trace

Saunter Sunday blogs are about walking around and thinking, at the same time.

In this instance, I sauntered around a distillery.  If you are clutching your pearls at this title, you may not be one to visit a distillery during the holy season and this blog may not interest you.

Hitting the Bourbon Trail has become a thing for me over the past 10-15 years.  During the holiday season, I mecca from my homes in Alabama and then South Carolina to my childhood state of Wisconsin.  Kentucky happens to be on that north-south corridor.

 People from all over the world hit that trail.  You can read details about my other stops in the dropdown menu under Destinations USA and Canada and Kentucky.

This visit was not like my other stops. First of all, the weather was horrible. It was cold and rainy. Not quite sleet but cold-hard hit you in the face monsoon-like rain.

I actually planned a bit for this stop. That may have been why things didn’t go great. I learned that many of the tours only happened on certain days and in the summer. If that wasn’t enough to get me in a mood, Buffalo Trace is not officially on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, meaning, I could not get my dang stamp in my dang Bourbon Trail Passport.

This combination of snags put me in a Negative Nellie mood before I even began this tour.

Usually, I have photos of the gorgeous countryside of Kentucky and the grounds of these businesses. But that rain.  I could not see most of the grounds but what I did see was nicely done with art decor and signage.


Buffalo at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Franklin, Kentucky

Instead, I have some hazy shots of the old log cabin.


The grounds at Buffalo Trace, Franklin Kentucky

This distillery is in the midst of a $1.4 Billion dollar expansion.  B. like billion. It is a historic landmark but that was another tour not available to me on this day.


Buffalo Trace Distillery, Franklin Kentucky is a Historic Landmark

So, I scooted off to poke around wherever I could.


Buffalo Trace historic grounds.

The tour took our group into three places. The first stop was a small brief introduction to the distillation process used at this distillery and on the history and the unique qualities of Buffalo Trace followed by a short film. But, if you have done your homework before visiting, you can watch YouTube Buffalo Trace


Buffalo Trace Tour Stop 1

Stop 2 was adjacent to one of the warehouses where you get to see….wait for it

barrels of the bourbon. …


One of the warehouses at Buffalo Trace

I may have been a bit bored so I took pictures of the walls. I call this art piece “Walls of Buffalo.”


Walls of Buffalo Trace Distillery

But for two minutes, I was interested in seeing the barrels that store the (possible) future elusive Pappy Van Winkle. One of these babies can sell for up to $2100.00/bottle. Aged from 10-year to 23 years, the price varies depending upon the reserve. I saw one retailing at $24,000.  Although one of the most careful and expensive distilling methods is used to create this special bourbon, for 24k, it had better make me young again. Each barrel ages for 23 years and is selected from the heart of the warehouse. But, I think it is a supply-demand thing like the beanie baby craze of the 1990s. I am not an expert on this subject by any means and one can go on and on about this one selection. Here is the link to the information. Pappy Van Winkle


Future Pappy Van Winkle at Buffalo Trace.

But, mostly I was bored so I took photos of the beam and call this art piece “Beams of Buffalo Trace.”


Beams in the warehouse at Buffalo Trace

A careful and expensive distilling method can be used to create a whiskey as special as this one. Each barrel ages for 23 years and is carefully selected from the heart of the warehouse.


Ghost barrels at Buffalo Trace. Future Buffalo Trace

Stop 3-The. Packaging. Yawn, O.K., what can I say? I did like this horsie collection thing. Apparently,  the bottles of Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon have a horse and jockey atop the bottle stoppers and are the trademark of this bourbon. It was a cool looking bottle for the collectors out there.


The bottle topper for Blanton’s single barrel bourbon.

Of course, these items are for sale in the shop.


Items for sale in the gift shop at Buffalo Trace Distillery


Buffalo Trace Distillery packaging area.

Stop 4- The Tasting – Ends in a room with several tasting stations. The walls have history and art.


Buffalo Trace



Tasting at Buffalo Trace


Tasting of 3 Buffalo Trace Bourbons and one Bourbon Cream and root beer for the teetotalers

Buffalo Trace has this bourbon cream drink which is what I personally would call “The Angel’s Share” because it is heavenly when mixed with root beer.


and like most of the tours on the bourbon trail, the end of the tour ends in the shop.


Items on display in the shop at Buffalo Trace


The shop at Buffalo Trace


MEGastars – 3 ***

MEGathoughts– Saunter at Buffalo Trace. A free tasting at the end did not make up for this short and incomplete tour. As compared to other distillery tours, this was one of my least favorite.  However, I would return and take other tours available to the visitor. I am curious to know if the new renovation will offer visitors a more user-friendly tour.


  1. The Tours of Buffalo Trace Tours at Buffalo Trace


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