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8 of North America's oldest distilleries

By: Josh Lew on Sept. 4, 2014, 1:19 p.m.
Buffalo Trace

Photo: Carl Wycoff/flickr

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Buffalo Trace

Some people associated with Kentucky's Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort consider it to be the oldest distillery in operation in the U.S. This is disputed by historians, and Burk's Distillery, now owned by Maker's Mark, is officially recognized as the oldest. Spirits were first made on the site where Buffalo Trace now stands in the late 18th century, but the first distillery building was not constructed until 1812.

Originally called the George T. Stagg Distillery, the current brand name comes from a legend that the area where the distillery stands was where buffalo crossed the Kentucky River in pre-Columbian times. Buffalo Trace has earned awards and accolades for its products, including rye whiskey and 15- to 18 year-old aged bourbons.