Buffalo Trace Distillery, located on the east bank of the Kentucky River just north of Frankfort, has operated on the site since E. H. Taylor, Jr., important figure in distilling industry, established it as the Old Fire Copper (O.F.C.) Distillery in 1870. It is a rare intact example of a distillery operating before, during, and after Prohibition, with extant structures ranging in date from circa 1880 to 1953.
Purchased by George Stagg in 1878 and, in 1904, renamed George T. Stagg Distillery. During prohibition, one of few distilleries in the U.S. granted federal permit to bottle medicinal whiskey, allowing it to remain open. During the facility’s expansion, the pre-Prohibition distillery buildings were repurposed and modernized to meet the needs of the newly re-emerging “scientific” distilling industry. Most of the distillery buildings retain highly intact historic interiors, including the 1930s–1950s manufacturing and warehousing equipment that, in many instances, is still in use.
The distillery has been owned by the Sazerac Company since 1992 and has operated as Buffalo Trace Distillery since 1999. In 2013, the distillery was declared a National Historic Landmark. Tours are available to the public on a daily basis.