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Buffalo Trace Bourbon Has Been Around Longer Than You Might Think

Inspired by the buffalo herds who helped show early Americans the way west, according to The Spirits Business, Buffalo Trace Distillery’s modern-day brands are guides to the long history of its location in Frankfort, Kentucky. It’s true, of course, that no bourbon has been named after those who distilled on the site in the late 18th century, notes; or after Daniel Swigert, who built a distillery on the location in 1858, per Buffalo Trace Distillery. But bourbon has been continuously made there ever since (per Buffalo Trace).

There is a bourbon brand, however, named for Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor Jr., who bought the distillery in 1870, and called it O.F.C. after the old-fashioned copper stills he believed produced the best bourbon, per Buffalo Trace Distillery. There’s also a brand named for George T. Stagg, who acquired the distillery that would also later bear his name in 1878. By 1897, a young man named Albert B. Blanton was working for the company. He would eventually become president in 1921, when the George T. Stagg Distillery was among the few licensed to produce medicinal liquor during Prohibition.

In 1984, Blanton’s name would later be given to the first single-barrel bourbon ever bottled, per Buffalo Trace Distillery. Schenley Distillers Corporation bought the distillery in 1929 and expanded it after Prohibition ended in 1933, eventually hiring a young man named Elmer T. Lee. Lee would later become Master Distiller. Yes, there’s now a bourbon brand named after him, too.

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