Posts Tagged awards

Buffalo Trace Distillery Named The World’s Most Innovative Whiskey Maker

buffalo trace statueWhisky Magazine recently awarded Buffalo Trace Distillery with the title of Innovator of the Year at the Whiskies & Spirits Conference in London. According to Whisky Magazine, the 240+ year-old-Distillery was named the World’s Best Whisky Brand Innovator due to its, “ …maintaining a continuous commitment to experimentation and research in the production of premium American Whiskeys,” said Managing Editor, Rupert Wheeler.

One clear example is Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye Whiskey, which the Distillery produces once each year. Handy won top honors at the 2015 World Whiskies Awards when the rye whiskey was named the World’s Best American Whiskey. In addition, eight other whiskeys from Buffalo Trace won awards at this prestigious competition.

Over the years Buffalo Trace Distillery has become known for innovation and experimental whiskies, including the Single Oak Project. This experiment has been called the most extensive bourbon experiment ever undertaken and examines seven critical variables which resulted in 192 unique bourbons, currently being rated by whisky connoisseurs. Results and findings are expected to be released later this year.

The Distillery also just recently built and filled Warehouse X, an experimental warehouse comprised of four independently operating chambers that will allow specific environmental factors to be tested, to determine their effect on aging barrels. Although not quite a year into the first experiment, measuring how light affects barrel aging, already the Distillery has obtained valuable data.

In addition to Whisky Brand Innovator of the Year and Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye’s World’s Best American Whiskey designation, two whiskies received three American overall awards. Pappy Van Winkle thomas_h_handy_rye_2011Family Reserve 20 Year was the overall winner for Best Age Statement Bourbon and the overall winner for Best Bourbon, and Thomas H. Handy Straight Rye Whiskey was the overall winner for Best American Rye.

For Best Non-Age Statement Bourbon, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon received gold, Col. E. H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel Bourbon received silver and William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey received bronze.

Col. E.H. Taylor Jr. Straight Rye Whiskey won gold for Best Non-Age Statement American Rye, and W.L. Weller 12 Year won bronze for Best Age Statement Bourbon.

The 2015 World Whiskies Awards and Icons of Whisky were announced at the Whiskies & Spirits Conference in London on March 19. Whiskies in each category were subject to rigorous blind taste testing to determine the best of each category. American Icons are determined following nominations from producers, retailers, distributors and importers, which are then voted on by those in the industry before Whisky Magazine’s editorial panel reviews the votes.

To determine the 2015 World Icons of Whisky, icons in America, Scotland and the rest of the world were voted on before the Whisky Magazine editorial panel was tasked with deciding the winner for each global title in the Icons categories.

For more information about the World Whiskies Awards visit and

Tags: , , , , , ,

No Comments

Buffalo Trace Wins 3 Awards From Whisky Magazine

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (April 3, 2012) – Buffalo Trace Distillery garnered high honors during the Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky Hall of Fame Awards ceremony held March 22, 2012 at the Waldorf Hilton in London, England.  Most special was the Lifetime Achievement Award and Hall of Fame induction given to Master Distiller Emeritus Elmer T. Lee.

Elmer T. Lee was born in 1919 on a tobacco farm near Peaks Mill in Franklin County, Kentucky. He graduated from Frankfort High School in 1936 and served in the U. S. Army Air Force during World War II as a radar bombardier on a B-29. After flying missions over Japan through 1945, Elmer was honorably discharged in January 1946. He returned home and studied engineering at the University of Kentucky, where he graduated with honors in 1949.

In September 1949 Elmer began working in the engineering department of the George T. Stagg (now Buffalo Trace) Distillery in Frankfort. In 1966, he was promoted to plant superintendent, responsible for all plant operations and in 1969 he became plant manager. Elmer retired in 1985, but continues to serve as ambassador for Buffalo Trace, educating others on the unique qualities of Kentucky’s bourbon whiskey.

It was in 1984 that Elmer introduced the single-barrel bourbon concept to the world with Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon, named in honor of Col. Albert B. Blanton. Elmer is known throughout the industry for his expertise and knowledge of bourbon whiskey and has received numerous awards and recognition.

In addition to Elmer’s honor, two whiskeys distilled at Buffalo Trace Distillery were also awarded “Best in the World” honors by Whisky Magazine at the Hall of Fame Awards:

  • Eagle Rare 17 Year Old Kentucky Bourbon
    • Best American Whiskey in the World
    • Best Bourbon in the World
  • Sazerac 18 Year Old Kentucky Rye Whiskey
    • Best Rye in the World

“It’s been such a pleasure and an honor to be able to learn from Elmer Lee,” said Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Distillery’s current Master Distiller.  “The knowledge he brings forth to our industry has been invaluable, and we’re happy everyone else in the world recognizes it as well.”

Tags: , , , , , , ,

No Comments