Why Is Buffalo Trace Bourbon Hard To Find

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You’ve searched high and low, yet finding Buffalo Trace Bourbon remains a quest. Not just any bourbon, but a historic one, crafted by America’s oldest distillery – that’s often sold out.

This article will unveil the mystery behind why this beloved bourbon is so elusive. Keep reading to become an informed bourbon hunter ready for the chase!

Key Takeaways:

  • Buffalo Trace Bourbon is hard to find due to a combination of factors, including its limited supply, rising popularity, and the unique aging process it undergoes.
  • The availability of Buffalo Trace heavily depends on state population and historical consumption. High demand in populous states like California and Florida contributes to the scarcity of this bourbon.
  • Rising popularity among cocktail drinkers has made Buffalo Trace a highly sought-after whiskey. Its reputation for exclusivity and quality standards, combined with limited bottles per state, amplifies its desirability.
  • Despite efforts by Buffalo Trace Distillery to expand production capacity, the necessary aging requirements for their whiskeys make finding a bottle challenging at times. The limited availability adds to the allure of this exceptional bourbon.

The History of Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Glasses of Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Nestled on the banks of the Kentucky River, Buffalo Trace Distillery has a rich and varied history that spans over two centuries. Known as America’s oldest distillery, it began its operations in 1773 under Hancock Lee.

Throughout its existence, this historic landmark has weathered numerous challenges, including fires, floods, and even the Prohibition era. Transitioning from being known as W.L. Weller & Sons Distillery to becoming officially designated as Buffalo Trace Bourbon in 1999 by Sazerac Company – the current owner.

Every bottle of Buffalo Trace is a testament to their commitment to quality standards. This award-winning bourbon gets its distinctive flavor from specially chosen ingredients like corn, rye, and malted barley combined with a special strain of yeast for fermentation and then aged patiently in charred oak barrels.

Despite production constraints due to aging time requirements and stringent quality control measures for each batch produced, every sip justifies their dedication towards perfection: A smooth yet complex depth of flavors earning them applause amongst whiskey enthusiasts globally.

Factors That Make Buffalo Trace Hard to Find

Buffalo Trace is hard to find due to several factors, including state population and historical consumption, rising popularity, affordability, and limited supply.

State Population and Historic Consumption/Demand

Buffalo Trace Bourbon’s availability heavily depends on the state population and historic consumption/demand.


State Population Historic Consumption/Demand
California 39.51 Million High
Texas 28.99 Million Moderate
Florida 21.48 Million High
New York 19.45 Million Moderate
Pennsylvania 12.80 Million Low


High consumer demand in populous states like California and Florida contributes to the scarcity of Buffalo Trace Bourbon. The distillery allocates limited bottles per state, meaning smaller or less populous states receive fewer bottles. This allocation strategy is part of Buffalo Trace’s efforts to meet the high demand while maintaining quality and fair distribution practices.

Rising Popularity

The Buffalo Trace Bourbon’s status as a highly sought-after whiskey has skyrocketed in recent years, gaining traction among cocktail drinkers due to its unique flavor profile and media exposure.

Notably, mentions on popular platforms like the Joe Rogan Experience podcast have added to its allure. This surge in popularity is not just about taste preference; it’s also fueled by the brand’s reputation for exclusivity and quality standards.

Limited bottles per state and strict allocation rules amplify Buffalo Trace Bourbon’s desirability, creating a buzz that outperforms many of its competitors in the whiskey industry.

In essence, this popularity boom enhances both demand and perceived value for every bottle of this Kentucky straight bourbon – making it harder than ever to find on your local liquor store shelves.


Buffalo Trace bourbon is known for its exceptional quality and unique flavor profile, which has made it a favorite among cocktail drinkers. But what about the price? Well, the good news is that Buffalo Trace offers incredible value for the money.

While it may not be the cheapest option out there, its price point is considered a steal for the high-quality bourbon you get in return. With its smooth and sweet flavor, this award-winning bourbon delivers an unforgettable drinking experience without breaking the bank.

So if you’re looking to elevate your cocktails with top-notch whiskey, Buffalo Trace is definitely worth considering.

Limited Supply

Buffalo Trace Bourbon is notoriously difficult to find due to its limited supply. This scarcity adds to the exclusivity and desirability of this exceptional bourbon among cocktail drinkers.

With a growing fan base and increased demand, Buffalo Trace Distillery has struggled to keep up with production levels, resulting in shortages in some areas. Despite efforts to expand operations and hire more employees, the limited availability of Buffalo Trace Bourbon continues to make it a sought-after whiskey that can be hard to come by.

So when you do manage to get your hands on a bottle, savor every sip of this high-quality bourbon that stands out from the rest.

The Unique Aging Process of Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Top View of Buffalo Trace Bourbon with Ice

Buffalo Trace bourbon stands out from other whiskeys due to its unique aging process. The distillery uses a method known as “slow aging,” which involves storing the bourbon in charred oak barrels for an extended period of time.

This allows the whiskey to develop complex flavors and aromas that can’t be rushed.

During the aging process, Buffalo Trace carefully monitors the barrels, ensuring that temperature fluctuations and airflow are optimized for flavor development. The whiskey is left undisturbed, allowing it to interact with the wood and absorb its rich character over time.

One important factor contributing to the distinct taste of Buffalo Trace bourbon is their use of a special strain of yeast during fermentation. This yeast adds specific flavors to the mash bill, which consists of corn, rye, and malted barley.

The result is a smooth and flavorful bourbon with notes of caramel, vanilla, oak, and spices. Each bottle showcases Buffalo Trace’s commitment to craftsmanship and quality.

As cocktail drinkers have become more discerning in their tastes, they appreciate the attention given to every step of production at Buffalo Trace Distillery. The slow aging process ensures that each sip delivers a robust flavor profile that can only come from years spent maturing in charred oak barrels.

Whether enjoyed neat or mixed into your favorite cocktail recipe, Buffalo Trace bourbon promises a truly unique drinking experience that embodies centuries-old traditions combined with innovative techniques—a testament to why this renowned brand remains highly sought-after by enthusiasts around the world.

The Role of Limited Production

Limited production plays a crucial role in the scarcity and desirability of Buffalo Trace bourbon. As one of the oldest distilleries in the country, Buffalo Trace takes pride in its meticulous approach to crafting high-quality spirits.

They carefully select whiskeys that have aged for just the right amount of time before considering them ready for bottling. This means that only a limited number of bottles make it to market at any given time.

The limited production strategy employed by Buffalo Trace serves two purposes. Firstly, it ensures that each bottle meets its rigorous quality standards, guaranteeing an exceptional drinking experience every time.

Secondly, it creates a perception of exclusivity and rarity among whiskey enthusiasts. The combination of outstanding quality and limited availability makes obtaining a bottle of Buffalo Trace bourbon all the more special.

Buffalo Trace is actively working on expanding their production capacity to meet growing demand, but this process takes time due to the necessary aging requirements for its whiskeys.

While this may mean that finding a bottle can be challenging at times, it also adds to the allure and excitement surrounding Buffalo Trace bourbon – making every sip worth the wait.

The Impact of Demand on Buffalo Trace Availability

Demand for Buffalo Trace bourbon has skyrocketed in recent years, causing a scarcity of this highly sought-after whiskey. But why is the demand so high? Discover the factors that have contributed to its popularity and learn about the challenges faced by Buffalo Trace in meeting this ever-increasing demand.

High Demand vs. Limited Supply

Buffalo Trace is faced with the unique challenge of a soaring demand but a limited supply. This situation is primarily due to the distillery’s commitment to quality over quantity, which has cemented its reputation in the bourbon industry.


High Demand Limited Supply
Buffalo Trace has gained significant popularity in recent years, thanks in part to its exposure on platforms like the Joe Rogan Experience. The distillery only releases bourbon that has passed an intensive quality assessment, ensuring only the best bottles make it to the market.
The brand’s labels are favored not only by bourbon enthusiasts but also by newcomers to the drink, further driving up demand. Buffalo Trace doesn’t mass-produce. They put quality first, limiting how much of their bourbon is available at any given time.
The perceived value and quality of the bourbon have increased due to supply constraints, creating an even higher demand for the product. Despite expanding its production capacities, it will take years for those batches to age properly and be ready for sale.
The affordability of Buffalo Trace products for their quality adds to the high demand among both seasoned connoisseurs and those new to bourbon. Supply is further limited by the fact that only a certain number of bottles are allocated per state, and smaller retailers often receive no allocation at all.


Distribution Challenges

The distribution of Buffalo Trace bourbon poses significant challenges due to its limited supply and high demand. Retailers often struggle to obtain allocations, resulting in scarce availability for consumers.

Online shopping has also impacted distribution, making it difficult for customers to find Buffalo Trace at their preferred retailers.

Distribution Constraints and Online Shopping Impact

Distribution constraints and the impact of online shopping have added to the difficulty in finding Buffalo Trace bourbon. Here are some important points to consider:


  • Limited Regional Distribution: Buffalo Trace only allocates a limited number of bourbon bottles per state. This means that smaller liquor stores and businesses often miss out on getting any allocation at all. As a result, finding Buffalo Trace can be challenging, especially if you live in an area with fewer retail options.
  • Online Shopping and Secondary Market: With the rise of online retailers, it has become easier for whiskey enthusiasts to access rare and limited-edition bottles. However, this also means that the demand for sought-after bourbons like Buffalo Trace is even higher. Many people turn to online platforms or specialty liquor stores that offer these exclusive bottles but be warned; they may come with a hefty price tag.
  • The Impact on Price: Due to limited availability, there has been an increase in prices for Buffalo Trace Bourbon. The secondary market has become particularly active, with rare and allocated bottles being sold at inflated prices. This can make it even harder for cocktail drinkers looking for a fair-priced bottle.
  • Distribution Challenges: In recent years, distribution constraints have made it difficult for retailers to keep up with customer demand. With limited supplies and high demand, stores often sell out quickly when they receive shipments of Buffalo Trace bourbon. Additionally, some retailers save unicorn bottles or hold lotteries to raise funds for charity or reward loyal customers.
  • Availability Discrepancies: While larger retail chains may receive regular shipments of Buffalo Trace bourbon due to their size and buying power, smaller establishments might struggle to get any allocation at all. This creates disparities in availability depending on where you live and shop.


Why Buffalo Trace Bourbon Is So Popular

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Old Fashioned Cocktail

Buffalo Trace Bourbon’s popularity stems from its unique flavor profile and high-quality standards, attracting both whiskey connoisseurs and bourbon enthusiasts alike.

Unique Characteristics That Boost Its Popularity

Buffalo Trace bourbon has become incredibly popular among cocktail drinkers due to its unique characteristics that set it apart from other whiskies. Here are some of the key features that contribute to its increasing popularity:


  1. Distinctive Flavor Profile: Buffalo Trace bourbon offers a smooth, sweet flavor with hints of vanilla, caramel, and oak. This unique combination creates a truly enjoyable drinking experience.
  2. High Quality and Reputation: As one of the oldest distilleries in the country, Buffalo Trace has built a reputation for producing award-winning bourbons of exceptional quality. Their commitment to excellence is evident in every sip.
  3. Unique Aging Process: Buffalo Trace follows a meticulous aging process, where their whiskeys are aged in charred oak barrels for years until they reach their optimal flavor and maturity. This attention to detail results in a whiskey that is well-rounded and full-bodied.
  4. Limited Release Bottles: Buffalo Trace periodically releases limited-edition bottles that are highly sought-after by whiskey enthusiasts. These rare and exclusive bottles create an air of excitement around the brand and make them highly coveted among collectors.
  5. Diverse Expressions: Buffalo Trace offers a range of expressions within their bourbon lineup, including Blanton’s, Eagle Rare, Sazerac Rye, and EH Taylor. Each expression brings its own unique flavors and characteristics, allowing drinkers to explore different profiles within the Buffalo Trace family.
  6. Gluten-Free and Vegan-Friendly: For those with dietary restrictions or preferences, Buffalo Trace Bourbon is gluten-free and vegan-friendly. This makes it an excellent choice for individuals seeking quality spirits that align with their lifestyle choices.
  7. Whiskey Connoisseur Approval: Buffalo Trace has gained the admiration and praise of whiskey connoisseurs worldwide who appreciate the craftsmanship behind each bottle. Their expertly crafted bourbons have received numerous accolades from industry experts, solidifying their position as a top choice among discerning drinkers.
  8. Evocative Branding: Buffalo Trace’s rich history and commitment to tradition are reflected in its branding. From the historic distillery with its distinctive architecture to the iconic Buffalo Trace bottles, their products evoke a sense of heritage and authenticity that resonates with consumers.
  9. Availability (despite being hard to find): Although Buffalo Trace can be challenging to come across due to limited supplies and high demand, the brand’s availability varies by state. This exclusivity adds an element of excitement and exclusiveness to the search for a bottle, further fueling its popularity.
  10. Excellent Value for Money: Despite its growing popularity, Buffalo Trace bourbon remains reasonably priced compared to other premium brands. This combination of high quality and affordability makes it an attractive choice for cocktail enthusiasts looking for exceptional spirits without breaking the bank.



What makes Buffalo Trace Bourbon special?

Buffalo Trace Bourbon stands out for its unique flavor profile and dedication to quality. Made at the oldest distillery in the country, this Kentucky straight bourbon undergoes a distinctive aging process in charred oak barrels, resulting in a smooth and sweet flavor that pleases even the most discerning palate.

The secret lies in Buffalo Trace’s special strain of yeast and their commitment to using high-quality corn, rye, and malted barley in their mash bill. With limited supplies and bottles released only when they have aged properly, each sip of Buffalo Trace is like experiencing a piece of whiskey history.

It’s no wonder that this award-winning bourbon has gained such a loyal following among cocktail enthusiasts seeking an exclusive and exceptional sipping experience.

Is Buffalo Trace Bourbon expensive?

Buffalo Trace Bourbon is known for its exceptional quality, and while it may not be the most budget-friendly option on the market, it’s definitely worth the investment. With official prices ranging from $25 to $40, Buffalo Trace offers a range of options that cater to different budgets.

However, due to its limited availability and high demand, some bottles can reach staggering market values of up to ten times their original price. This scarcity has created a perception of exclusivity and desirability among whiskey lovers.

So while Buffalo Trace Bourbon may come at a higher price compared to other brands, its smooth and distinctive flavor profile makes it a worthwhile splurge for cocktail enthusiasts looking for an exceptional drinking experience.

How can I find Buffalo Trace Bourbon?

To find Buffalo Trace Bourbon, you may need to put in some effort and do a bit of hunting. Due to its limited availability and high demand, finding a bottle can sometimes feel like searching for treasure.

Here are a few tips to help you on your quest. First, check out specialty liquor stores or online retailers that specialize in bourbon selections. These places often have a better chance of carrying rare bottles like Buffalo Trace.

Additionally, consider joining bourbon-hunting groups or following social media accounts dedicated to tracking down elusive bottles. They can provide valuable information on where and when new shipments might be arriving.

Is Buffalo Trace Bourbon gluten-free and vegan-friendly?

Buffalo Trace Bourbon is a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts, and the good news is that it is both gluten-free and vegan-friendly. This means that those with dietary restrictions or preferences can still enjoy this exceptional bourbon without any worries.

The distillery takes special care to ensure that its production process avoids any cross-contamination with gluten-containing grains, making Buffalo Trace Bourbon safe for those following a gluten-free lifestyle.

Additionally, the use of 100% plant-based ingredients in their unique mash bill ensures that vegans can savor every sip guilt-free. So whether you’re mixing up cocktails or sipping it neat, Buffalo Trace Bourbon offers a delightful experience for everyone while accommodating different dietary needs.

Are there any alternatives to Buffalo Trace if I can’t find it?

If you’re unable to find Buffalo Trace, there are other excellent bourbons available that offer similar flavor profiles and quality. Some popular alternatives include Eagle Rare, Four Roses Small Batch, and Woodford Reserve.

Will Buffalo Trace become more readily available in the future?

While it’s challenging to predict the future availability of specific bourbons, the popularity of Buffalo Trace has led the distillery to expand production capabilities over time. This suggests that there could potentially be increased availability in the future; however, it is still likely that certain limited editions or special releases will remain elusive finds for collectors and enthusiasts alike.


In conclusion, Buffalo Trace bourbon is hard to find due to a combination of factors. Its limited supply, rising popularity, and the unique aging process all contribute to its scarcity.

Despite these challenges, Buffalo Trace remains one of the most sought-after bourbons in the industry, loved for its distinctive flavor profile and high quality. So if you ever come across a bottle of Buffalo Trace, consider yourself lucky and savor every drop!