Buffalo Trace Distillery “Firsts” by reniyanuarni88


									   First to commercially market Single Barrel Bourbon
   First to incorporate the use of steam power
   First to use temperature controlled warehouses
   First to “cycle” the warehouses; heat / cool during the
   First to use reverse osmosis to further purify our water
   First to use the “bung up” method of storing our
   First to ship whiskey down the Mississippi
   Only distillery to win 50 medals in international
    competition during the last decade
   Only distillery to have distilled continuously for 214
   Only Kentucky distillery to distil through prohibition
   Only U.S. distillery making vodka from scratch
   Only distillery using 5 different whiskey recipes
   Only distillery with 3 different stills in the still house
   Only distillery still leak hunting
   Only distillery using organic grain in a product
   Only distillery with three centuries of architecture
   The fermented beer, complete with solids, is pumped into the
    top of our 40 foot beer still
   From there the beer descends through a series deliberately
    placed plates, where it meets rapidly rising steam from the
    bottom of the still
   The alcohol in the beer is vaporized and rises to the top of the
    still where it enters the beer condenser, which then brings the
    alcohol-rich vapor into a 120 (60 % alcohol) proof liquid
   The raw spirit is then distilled for a second time in our
    “doubler” (pot) still, which raises the proof to 130 / 140 proof,
    depending on the recipe
   After passing through the”doubler”, the 135 proof liquid is
    known as “white dog” or “bourbon designate” and is ready for
   Buffalo Trace barrels are made to our own confidential specifications
    by the Independent Stave Company of Lebanon, KY and Lebanon, MO
   The trees used typically come from Missouri forests and are each
    about 90 years old. A tree makes two barrels
   The barrels are new, American white oak (Quercus Albus) and
    charred on the inside
   At Buffalo Trace, we use a #4 char (charred for exactly 55 seconds)
   Each barrel is built to hold 53 liquid gallons and costs $100.00 new.
    The used value can be as low as $17.00!
   Filled, the barrel weighs 550lbs!
   The barrel and its quality is a vitally important part of the entire
    whiskey making process because of its effect on the other KEY part of
    great whiskey making – Aging (Recipe being the other).
   Consequently, our barrels are subjected to a rigorous inspection
    procedure when they arrive at the distillery
   At Buffalo Trace, we inspect 100% of all incoming new barrels, about
    35,000 barrels per year. Among many items, we particularly check for
    moisture content (overly moist barrels will not make good whiskey),
    knots, worm holes, broken staves and bung leaks
   Once the barrels have passed the inspection process, they are moved to
    the branding shed for marking and then to the cistern room for filling
   The bourbon designate proof is then reduced, using pure Kentucky
    limestone water, from the still proof (130 / 140) to a legal barrel entry
    proof of not more than 125 proof and depending on our recipe a good
    deal lower
   Once barreled, the whiskey is then moved to a pre-planned spot in our
    warehouse system to begin aging
   Tax used to be paid when we put the whiskey in the barrel. Today, it is
    paid when we ship the product to the customer. Tax on a barrel is
   Aging is, in our opinion, the second major factor to affect the
    final product that consumers enjoy so much
   The interaction between the whiskey in the barrel and the
    barrel itself gives the whiskey much of its character, this
    interaction is affected by many, many contributing factors…..
    -     Warehouse and floor location
    -     Temperature and humidity
    -     Air flow
    -     Cladding on the warehouses
    -     Evaporation rates
    -     Leaks
    -     Overall warehouse condition
    -     Barrel rotation
    -     Bung up
   At Buffalo Trace, we carefully pre-select which barrels go into
    which location
   Our single barrels and small batch whiskies go off the very
    best locations and warehouses. At Buffalo Trace, this is
    typically the middle floors of warehouses I, C and K.
    Warehouse H, floor 3 is also a phenomenal aging floor
   Our premium brands head for the floors surrounding the very
    best and our standard brands are balanced out on top and
    bottom floors
   If asked what makes a great aging floor the truth is that we can
    only speculate, but air flow, which way the warehouse faces,
    annual temperature fluctuations and humidity all play a role
   We have, however, been able to develop some rules of thumb
    for our warehouses
   Our brick-clad warehouses allow the whiskey to age slowly
    and evenly over time providing a for finely balanced whiskey
   Our metal-clad warehouse allows for fast aging and a spicy
   The middle floors are warm in summer and cool in winter
    allowing a full cycling of the whiskey in and out of the barrel
    for a very smooth whiskey
   The top floors stay hot all year long and the tannins in the
    wood are extracted quickly for a spicier whiskey
   The bottom floors are cool and the whiskey takes a longer time
    to age, more fruits and less wood are present in these whiskies
   Which makes the best? We have our ideas, but ultimately, you
    the drinker should decide according to your own tastes!!
   Other factors that affect the final whiskey….
   Temperature. At below 45 degrees, the whiskey stops aging.
    At Buffalo Trace we gently heat and cool the warehouses in
    winter to keep the aging cycle moving along
   Evaporation is a major element. During the first year we lose
    5.3 gallons or 10% to soakage and evaporation. Every year
    after another 1.5 gallons is lost. A 20 year old whiskey has lost
    63.0% of its original barrel contents. The rate of evaporation
    rate will also affect the final product. Proof will increase over
    time in the barrel
   Leaks. Buffalo Trace is the only distillery known to be still leak
    hunting. Our experience suggests that it is well worth the
    expense, especially in terms of avoiding leaks onto and
    spoilage of the barrels below. All barrels are checked at least
    once a year
   Overall warehouse condition. At the Trace, we spend time in
    the warehouses sweeping, washing mold from the walls, fixing
    roof leaks and repairing windows as part of an overall quality
    program to keep our warehouses in tip-top shape. We believe
    that this helps keep aging conditions at their best
   Barrel rotation. At Buffalo Trace, we deliberately do not rotate
    or move our barrels around to different floors in the
    warehouses. This is in order that we can produce different
    tasting whiskies. Our goal in life is to produce a particular
    tasting whiskey that a particular consumer adores, hence our
    extensive range of offerings
   Bung up. All our barrels are stored using the “bung up”
    method. In this way, the soft wood bung stays out of contact
    with the whiskey
   Now comes the fun part!! Choosing barrels.
   At Buffalo Trace, no less than seven people are involved in the
    picking of barrels. For each brand the process is different!
   The barrels for our flagship brand – Buffalo Trace – are picked by
    two people, but must then pass through a panel of seven people,
    including Elmer T. Lee. A rejection by anyone of the seven people
    sends that particular barrel back to the warehouse
   Our single barrels are picked by separate individuals. For
    example, Elmer T. Lee still picks barrels for Blanton and his own
    Elmer T. Lee
   Barrels for our larger brands are carefully picked from top and
    bottom floors to ensure a top quality balance in the whiskey
   Taste and smell profiles have been established for all brands and
    standards are strictly adhered to in the barrel selection process
   After a production labor of love, and nine or ten years in the
    barrel, you certainly want to take great care in the final phases of
    bringing the whiskey to market. Nowhere is this more true than in
    processing the final product
   At Buffalo Trace all our whiskey is chill filtered. Chill filtration is
    proven to remove 15% less color and taste than standard charcoal
    filtration methods. We believe this is an important step in
    delivering full bodied whiskies to the consumer
   At Buffalo Trace, we have three different processing areas, two for
    whiskies and one for vodka
   Our flagship brand – Buffalo Trace – and the single barrels /
    specialty whiskies are processed in the A.B. Blanton bottling hall,
    which is a small, hand operated facility
   Barrels are rolled in one at a time and dumped into small tanks,
    from there the proof is reduced to bottling proof using Kentucky
    limestone water
   After being reduced to bottling proof, the whiskey is chilled
    down to 25 degrees F (Brrr! But yummy – try placing your
    bourbon in the freezer at home). In turn, the fatty acids that
    can turn your whiskey cloudy expand and are easily collected
    on filter pads. Presto! Beautiful, clean whiskey. By the by, ten
    filter pads are good for only about three barrels!
   In our main processing area, one extra step is taken to ensure
    that we are producing the best whiskey we can. For each of
    our large brands, a 50,000 gallon tank has been set aside. The
    tank is never allowed to be less than ½ full. As whiskey is
    withdrawn for bottling, we dump additional barrels to top the
    tank up. In this way, we are able to fulfill the consumer’s desire
    for a highly consistent product.
   The final phase is actually bottling the product. At
    the Trace, we have two bottling operations
   The first, is our hand bottling operation, where
    everything from cleaning the bottles, to filling,
    labeling and case packing are all done by hand. It
    is well worth a visit. Brands such as Buffalo Trace
    and Blanton are bottled in here
   The second, is our modern, high speed operation
    that comfortably bottles high quality brands such as
    W. L. Weller and Old Charter

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