Kentucky distillery gets state incentive for $1.2 billion expansion

Published 7:33 am Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Buffalo Trace is building.

A press release provided by the distillery said that the company has already built 10 new warehouses as part of a $1.2 billion expansion initially announced in 2018.

The release said that Buffalo Trace will continue to build a new warehouse every four months until further notice. The new warehouses are seven stories tall and can house 58,800 barrels each.

The company recently received approval for a state incentive of $840,000 from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) as part of its Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act program. The funds went toward construction materials and building fixtures to aid a $155 million chunk of the company’s planned expansion.

Buffalo Trace’s parent company, Sazerac, also received $300,000 in state funds committed toward the construction of a boiler house to expand its operations in Bardstown.

The Frankfort expansion is taking place on a 292-acre farm just north of the company’s historic facility, which was purchased by Sazerac for $3.25 million in 2014.

Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley said that he is proud of the taste consistency that the company has achieved at its new warehouse locations compared to its older ones. The company charted out temperature fluctuations at a new warehouse versus an old one and found very little discrepancy.

“Through the years, we’ve gathered millions of data points on how the environment affects the whiskey inside the barrel,” Wheatley said. “We know, for example, how important heating the warehouses is during the winter months, which is why we committed to continuing that tradition in our new warehouses we’re building. All of these data points give us great confidence that the bourbon we’re putting up today in our new warehouses will have the consistent flavor profiles our fans have come to expect.”