Buffalo Trace London Distillery Will Officially Open to Public on May 6

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Buffalo Trace London Distillery Will Officially Open to Public on May 6

Whiskey fans of the U.K., the wait is almost over: Buffalo Trace London is getting ready to open its doors to the public for the first time, and will begin welcoming visitors on May 6, 2024. The West End location of the famed Kentucky bourbon producer is located “in the heart of Covent Garden” at 32-33 Long Acre, and is the company’s first expansion outside of its Kentucky home. The location figures to be a major center of outreach to courting the U.K. and European markets with American bourbon and rye whiskey.

“Opening Buffalo Trace Distillery London is a momentous occasion for our Distillery and we are thrilled to bring our experience to the United Kingdom,” said Jake Wenz, CEO and President of Buffalo Trace Distillery, in a statement. “At Buffalo Trace Distillery London, we’ll offer a space for spirits novices and lovers to learn more about a whiskey type they are perhaps less familiar with – bourbon. Our aim is to inspire visitors to broaden their palates, and perhaps their cocktails, and we’re hopeful after learning about bourbon and tasting it, they will add it to their drink list.”

Despite the rabid obsession with bourbon that U.S. consumers have experienced in the last decade, in which the Sazerac Co. company’s Buffalo Trace brand has played a large role in driving demand to the point of rampant retailer price gouging, most of the large Kentucky bourbon producers consider the world market to still be relatively untapped for American whiskey. At the very least, there are many new potential drinkers here who are more widely acquainted with Scottish or Irish malt whiskey, who might leap at a chance to visit a well-known American bourbon producer in the heart of London. It’s unclear whether there is actually any micro-distillation happening here on site–the company repeatedly calls it “Buffalo Trace Distillery London,” but we’re assuming this location will likely just function as a tasting room.

Tastings available at the London site will include “Taste of the Trace” and “Tradition & Change,” summarized below:

Taste of the Trace – A guided tasting of three outstanding expressions from Buffalo Trace Distillery’s core product lineup: Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Sazerac Rye, Bourbon Cream and the option of a Buffalo and Ginger Ale cocktail sample.

Tradition & Change – Crafting the Most Awarded American Whiskey – a more intimate experience featuring a selection of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s premium expression lineup, including White Dog Mash #1, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Eagle Rare 10-Year-Old, E.H. Taylor Small Batch, and a small pour of a Buffalo Trace Old Fashioned. Tastings will range in price depending on selection, up to £34.99.

One will note that these unsurprisingly leave off many of the most sought-after Buffalo Trace brands, such as the other entries in the E.H. Taylor family, W.L. Weller, Stagg, the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, and of course the legendary Pappy Van Winkle. We would expect these bottles to make occasional appearances at Buffalo Trace London, perhaps in the context of special events, luxe experiences or charity drives. But suffice to say, you’re not going to find them on the shelves at the gift shop, at least not on an average day. The company notes in its opening press release that “rarer whiskey offerings from Buffalo Trace will also be offered during special surprise times throughout the initial opening months.”

Reservations are recommended for tastings as Buffalo Trace London Distillery gets its feet under it, and prebooking can be arranged via BuffaloTraceDistillery.co.uk. The facility will operate Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sunday from noon-6 p.m. local time.

Here’s hoping that U.K. whiskey geeks find the experience everything they hoped it would be.

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