If you’ve ever gone hunting for a Stagg Jr. or a Weller 107 and struck out, we feel your pain. Buffalo Trace puts out some of the most popular bourbons in the world, and unfortunately, there just aren’t enough to go around. When you consider the time bourbon spends in the barrel after it comes off the still, you can understand the lag in supply compared to demand. By the time a distillery realizes that people wanted more, they’re already 6-10 years behind. Gone are the days when Blanton’s horses lined the shelves – now, its bourbon fans lining up for just a chance at a bottle.
But over the past few years, Buffalo Trace has been hard at work to fix that in the form of a $1.2 billion expansion, spanning every part of production. In the past year alone, they’ve erected three new warehouses and begun to fill them with barrels, joining the four new now-full warehouses from last year. Another three are already on the way, each holding 58,800 barrels and costing $7 million to construct and $21 million to fill.
“Allocations of favorite brands like Eagle Rare, Weller, Blanton’s and E.H. Taylor are increasing faster with each passing year and at the same time Buffalo Trace has been able to unveil several new whiskeys, such as Weller Full Proof and Weller Single Barrel, Double Eagle Very Rare, Blanton’s Gold in the United States, Old Charter Oak, and several others,” reads a press release from the distillery earlier today.
The distillery has also installed four new cookers, more than doubling their old volume, four new fermenters to add to the 12 already in use since 1933, a new cooling tower, and a new high speed bottling hall. And there’s more to come – watch the video below to get a bird’s eye view of construction.
“Although we’ve been increasing production on all of our bourbons for the past several years, the consumer demand also continues to increase,” said Kris Comstock, senior marketing director in a press release. “We understand fans are frustrated when they can’t find our brands on liquor store shelves. While we are bottling and shipping record amounts, overall demand outstrips supply, and as a result our brands will continue to remain allocated to ensure every state receives some each month.”
“We promise we are doing everything we can to make more, as evidenced by our progress we’ve made in the past year with our expansion,” said Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley in a press release. “But great bourbon does take time to age, and we won’t comprise age, taste, or proof just to fill more bottles. We’re just asking our fans to remain patient as we wait for our stocks to mature.”