Render of tasting bar at Buffalo Trace Distillery in London, U.K..

New Buffalo Trace Distillery Experience in London Brings a Bourbon Experience to the UK

4 minutes

The U.K. has a rich history making whisky, with many Scotch and Irish whisky drinkers. However, there are many bourbon lovers in the U.K. as well, and they now have a place to go in London to experience some of the most iconic American bourbon in a fun and educational tasting at the Buffalo Trace Distillery London.

Buffalo Trace is the oldest continuously operating, and most awarded distillery in the United States. It is the iconic whiskey distillery behind some of the most revered, and well known bourbon brands including Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, W.L. Weller, E.H. Taylor, Stagg, Blanton’s, and the legendary Pappy Van Winkle.

A Brief History of Buffalo Trace

In 1775, brothers Hancock and Willis Lee began distilling whiskey in Frankfort, Kentucky. In 1812, Harrison Blanton constructed the first distillery on the site. Some of the distillery’s first owners included Edmund H. Taylor and George T. Stagg, who currently have bourbons named after them.

The distillery went through a number of owners and name changes over the years including O. F. C. for Old Fashioned Wood-Fired Copper Stills, which Edmund H. Taylor Jr. thought produced superior whiskey. In 1904 the distillery was renamed the George T. Stagg Distillery.

Investments were made as the distillery grew and expanded. It continued operation throughout prohibition, producing whiskey for “medicinal purposes,” and in 1929 the distillery was purchased by the Schenley Distillers Corporation.

In 1992, after 63 years of corporate ownership, the distillery was returned to private hands and became a family-owned distillery once again. In 1999, the distillery was renamed the Buffalo Trace Distillery, and launched its new flagship brand, Buffalo Trace.

Buffalo Trace Goes International

Buffalo Trace products are available outside the U.S., but this is Buffalo Trace’s first international brand venture outside the U.S. and is designed to spread brand awareness and cultivate appreciation for bourbon in the U.K. Located in Covent Garden at 32-33 Long Acre, visitors can sample a variety of Buffalo Trace’s products, and learn about the rich history of Buffalo Trace, and the impact it’s had on American whiskey, and bourbon in particular.

Render of front of the Buffalo Trace Distillery Experience in London, U.K.
Image courtesy of Buffalo Trace

Jake Wenz, CEO and president at Buffalo Trace Distillery, described how "Opening Buffalo Trace Distillery London is a momentous occasion for our distillery and we are thrilled to bring our experience to the United Kingdom." He went on to describe what he hoped to accomplish at the new experience centre, "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.”

No Whiskey Is Distilled Here

In spite of the name, this is not a distillery. No whiskey is made here. If you don’t know, one of the requirements for bourbon to be classified as bourbon, is that it must be made in the U.S. It’s an American product, made in America, which means all bourbon available at the Buffalo Trace Distillery London is made in the U.S. and shipped in, so no distillery tours here, sorry.

Even if the whiskey was produced in the U.K., it wouldn’t taste the same. Whiskey is very much a product of its environment so the local grains and water used to distill the whiskey, and then the climate in which the whiskey is aged all have a significant effect on the flavour profile.

The Buffalo Trace Distillery Experience

The 2,000 square foot space has been completely renovated with a look and feel that resembles a Kentucky whiskey distillery. Bar seating in 2 tasting rooms provides comfortable seating for groups in a social atmosphere to taste some of the many products Buffalo Trace has available.

Render of the tasting bar at the Buffalo Trace Distillery Experience in London, U.K.
Image courtesy of Buffalo Trace

There is also a retail store on site where visitors can shop for bottles, and purchase clothing and exclusive products only found at Buffalo Trace Distillery London. In addition to bottles and clothing, available products include glasses, tumblers, mugs, leather coasters & key rings and more.

This permanent distillery experience replaces the pop-up shop that opened in December 2023.

Render of the retail space at the Buffalo Trace Distillery Experience in London, U.K.
Image courtesy of Buffalo Trace

Reservations are required. There are currently 2 tasting experiences available (plus one more, but just until Father's Day).

Taste of the Trace

Visitors will enjoy a guided tasting of 3 of Buffalo Trace’s core lineup including Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Sazerac rye and Bourbon Cream.

Cost: £19.99

Tradition and Change Crafting the Most Awarded American Whiskey

This experience features tastings of some of Buffalo Trace’s premium expressions including White Dog Mash #1, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Eagle Rare 10-Year-Old, E.H. Taylor Small Batch, and a Buffalo Trace Old Fashioned. This is a more exclusive experience and is limited to a maximum of 10 people.

Cost: £34.99

Father’s Day at Buffalo Trace Distillery London

Use the coupon DAD24 to receive 2 tickets for the price of one for the Taste of Trace tasting experience. Valid for June 15th and 16th, 2024, only.

Cost: £19.99 (for 2 tickets)

Buy tickets for a Buffalo Trace Tasting Experience in London, U.K.

Location

32-33 Long Acre
London, LND WC2E 9LA UK

Hours

Monday - Saturday: 11:00 - 21:00
Sunday: 12:00 - 18:00

Near the Covent Garden Underground station

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