Friday, October 23, 2015

Buffalo Trace Distillery Harvests First Corn Crop

What distillery is the most grain-to-glass? Sazerac's Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky has just harvested its first crop of corn off land adjacent to the distillery. It purchased the land last year, expanding its site on the Kentucky River to 378 acres.

In May of this year, the distillery planted its first seeds using the same corn strain planted by Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr. in 1870 (non-GMO, of course).

This week, those 18 acres were harvested and the corn has begun its journey toward fermentation in what will ultimately be Buffalo Trace's own farm-to-table 'Single Estate' experience. This bourbon will be a separate, stand-alone brand with its own identity. The name, age, price, and other details have yet to be determined.

"Although the yield was not quite as much as we had expected, we're still excited to complete this step and begin our own farm-to-table bourbon," said Harlen Wheatley, master distiller.

The additional land was acquired primarily for new warehouses. A total of 50 new warehouses are planned for the next 10 years. They will hold 50,000 barrels each. Construction on the first will begin in 2017. Two office buildings also on adjacent land, built originally as maturation warehouses, were recently converted back to that use. Sazerac also has maturation facilities at the Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown and the Glenmore Distillery in Owensboro. In addition to whiskey, the warehouses at Barton 1792 are also used to age Paul Masson Brandy for the distillery's former owner, Constellation Brands.

Warehouse space is the chokepoint at many distilleries. New ones are being raised as fast as Buzick can build them. Buzick Construction builds most of the warehouses and other buildings for distilleries in the U.S.

MGP recently announced a $16.4 million investment in new and refurbished warehouses. One new warehouse, under construction now, is expected to be completed yet this year. It is being built on a 20-acre site adjoining the company’s current Lawrenceburg facility. The program includes both the refurbishment of existing warehouse buildings and the construction of new warehouses. It will double MGP's maturation capacity.


Anonymous said...

Richnimrod asked;
Did I understand that last part correctly? ...About MGP adding just one warehouse, that will double it's aging capacity? How large is the new one? Does MGP have only extremely limited aging facilities now? I know they are not (or haven't been) in the business of aging and selling their own distillate as Bourbon; but that is changing, right? Can you expound/explain?

Justin Victor said...

Yes, I can see it now......Buffalo Trace First Harvest Bourbon. $75 per pint. The whiskey nerds will be lined up to grab a bottle!!!!

Chuck Cowdery said...

Richnimrod, I guess I was unclear. MGP is building a bunch of new warehouses which, when completed, will double their capacity. The first one is under construction and will be completed shortly.

AndrewBsupafly said...

In reply to the above comment about a $75.00 pint: I'd say Buffalo Trace has done better than most in keeping pricing reasonable. $30.00 for a 10year Eagle rare? That's a steal. Not to mention I've not seen much change in their Antique collection even though they would still sell just as quickly at twice their sub $100 pricing. I'm excited to try the new stuff in 4 to 10 years..