Skip to Content

This article contains affiliate links. We may receive compensation if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Bourbon Fun During A Buffalo Trace Distillery Tour

Check out our experience taking a Buffalo Trace distillery tour and see what we ate for lunch after our fun tour of the famous Frankfort Kentucky distillery.

Buffalo Trace Distillery Tour Guide Fred Mozenter
Buffalo Trace tour guide, Fred Mozenter, is a lifelong fan of bourbon. His goal is to make bourbon fun during his tours.

Imagine our surprise when we made a stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail for our Buffalo Trace distillery tour in Frankfort and met our tour guide from … wait for it … Philadelphia.

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Barrels
We were pleasantly surprised to find out that Buffalo Trace tour guide Fred Mozenter is a Philadelphia native. The Philly connection added extra flavor to our Buffalo Trace hard hat distillery tour.

With a southern drawl and a warm, welcoming smile, the tour guide seemed every bit like a local at first glance. We totally assumed that he was born and bred in Kentucky until he shared the news that not only was he from Philadelphia but also that he had once lived just five blocks from the house that we left behind when we answered the call to travel.

Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Campus in Kentucky
The Buffalo Trace campus is impressive with its combination of historic buildings and modern technology. The distillery has 100 buildings on 440 acres at this site.

Located just 660 miles from Philadelphia, Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort feels like another world. Instead of the high rises and parking lots that define the Philadelphia landscape, horse farms and distilleries dot the grassy landscape of Frankfort’s rolling green hills.

Originally called the O.F.C. Distillery and later the George T. Stagg Distillery, Buffalo Trace makes many bourbons beyond its signature Buffalo Trace whiskey including cult favorite Pappy Van Winkle and Blanton’s.

Inspired by wild buffalo that once roamed freely along the Kentucky River on passes called traces, parent Sazerac Company renamed the company to Buffalo Trace in 1999. The parent company is currently spending $1.2 billion to expand the distillery’s campus.

Discover our favorite bourbon cocktails.

Buffalo Trace Distillery Tour

Buffalo Trace Distillery Tour
Tour guide Fred Mozenter’s bourbon passion is evident during his Buffalo Trace distillery tours. He walks groups through the distillery, explaining the process along the way.

We know how we got to Buffalo Trace from Philadelphia – a simple detour from Cincinnati to Nashville during our epic road trip. After visiting Graeter’s, the country’s greatest ice cream company, it was a no-brainer for us to visit Buffalo Trace, arguably the country’s greatest bourbon distiller.

But how did tour guide Fred Mozenter get to Buffalo Trace from Philadelphia? It’s not exactly a normal path to move from Philadelphia to Frankfort. And how did he end up with a coveted job working at the distillery where he traded his Philly accent for a southern drawl?

Buffalo Trace Tasting
Tour guide Fred Mozenter takes pleasure in sharing his bourbon passion with tour groups. Here he is shown pouring samples at the end of our tour.

It turns out that Mozenter worked for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) as a store manager for 34 years before taking an early retirement package. Upon retiring, he decided to pursue his true passion – bourbon.

That passion led him to Kentucky and his second career at Buffalo Trace. Hired because he could “make bourbon fun”, Mozenter has been giving tours at Buffalo Trace since he moved south to Frankfort with no end in sight.

History And Fun

Buffalo Trace Distillery Equipment
This equipment is part of the micro-distillery where the company experiments and makes smaller batches.

During the Buffalo Trace Bourbon tour, Mozenter educated us about the company’s storied history which dates back hundreds of years and survived prohibition.

The oldest continuing operating distillery, Buffalo Trace distributed bourbon for “medicinal purposes” during prohibition. Today, the distillery displays memorabilia from its history including site maps and pictures detailing the long, eventful past.

Blanton's Bourbon Assembly Line
Buffalo Trace doesn’t outsource any aspects of the bourbon process including the bottling of Blanton’s bourbon.

The Buffalo Trace Hard Hat Tour shows Buffalo Trace Bourbon in its various stages as it transforms from corn mash to liquid gold.

Starting with the cookhouse and the huge fermentation vats, the tour is hands-on – literally. During the tour, participants get to taste fermenting mash and wash their hands with freshly distilled bourbon, activities that let all five senses experience the distilling process.

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Tasting

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon Chocolates
These Kentucky Bourbon Chocolates prove that bourbon can be enjoyed as candy too.

“All bourbons are whiskey but not all whiskeys are bourbons.”

We learned that 95% of all bourbon is distilled in Kentucky and the state’s limestone water gives bourbon its distinct flavor. We also learned that the remaining 5% is made elsewhere in the United States, but the taste is not the same without Kentucky’s limestone water.

At the end of the tour, we tasted four different Buffalo Trace brands distilled at Buffalo Trace including Clix vodka and decadently rich bourbon cream. As an unexpected treat, we indulged in Buffalo Trace Bourbon chocolates made by a local chocolatier, Rebecca Ruth Candy Factory. All of these products and more are available at the distillery’s onsite Buffalo Trace gift shop.

A Man and His Bourbon at the Buffalo Trace Distillery Tour
Cheers to chance encounters and good bourbon!

We will long remember Buffalo Trace’s distillery tour, especially when we drink Buffalo Trace bourbon. We will especially remember the tour guide, Fred Mozenter.

Just like his getting the job at Buffalo Trace, us meeting him was “meant to be.” Hearing his story validated our decision to follow our dreams of traveling and tasting the world.

Buffalo Trace Distillery is located at 113 Great Buffalo Trace, Frankfort, KY 40601, United States.

Lunch in Frankfort

Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown at Gibby's in Frankfort Kentucky
We ate this Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown at Gibby’s in downtown Frankfort after our Buffalo Trace Distillery Tour.

Since man cannot live on bourbon and chocolate alone, you should follow your distillery tour with lunch at one of the many restaurants near Buffalo Trace Distillery. If you like unique American sandwiches, be sure to order a Kentucky Hot Brown.

After our tour, we followed these instructions and ate a Grilled Kentucky Hot Brown at Gibby’s in downtown Frankfort. Located just two miles from the distillery, Gibby’s is a local institution and a perfect spot for a post-bourbon tour lunch.

Gibby’s is located at 204 W Broadway St, Frankfort, KY 40601, United States.

Schedule A Buffalo Trace Distillery Tour

Buffalo Trace tours are complimentary but must be reserved in advance.

We took the Hard Hat tour which we highly recommend; however this tour is on hiatus during the renovations. You can make free reservations when it resumes. Other tours include the Trace tour, the Expansion tour, the Old Taylor tour and the Bourbon Barrel tour.

All tours include bourbon tastings. Hooray!

And, if you have extra time, be sure to check out the best places to drink in Louisville which is just a one-hour drive from the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Buffalo Trace Planning Checklist

Buffalo Trace Distillery Tour FAQs

Where is the Buffalo Trace distillery?

The Buffalo Trace distillery is located at 113 Great Buffalo Trace in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Is the Buffalo Trace distillery on Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail?

No. Buffalo Trace is not on the Bourbon Trail. This is because the distillery is not part of the Kentucky Distillers Association.

How much does a Buffalo Trace distillery tour cost?

Buffalo Trace distillery tours are free.

How long is a Buffalo Trace distillery tour?

Buffalo Traces offers seven different tours of its distillery. Check each tour’s details to confirm its length.

How can I get tickets for a Buffalo Trace distillery tour?

You can make reservations via the Buffalo Trace website.

Thirsty For Unique Bourbon Cocktails?

Brown Derby Cocktail - Social IMG
Brown Derby Recipe
Gold Rush Cocktail - Social IMG
Gold Rush Recipe
Paper Plane Cocktail - Social IMG
Paper Plane Recipe
About The Authors

About The Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on their website 2foodtrippers. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers a unique taste of the world.

Subscribe to our newsletter unless you’d rather follow us on Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest.


Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

We self-funded our trip to Buffalo Trace.

View the latest Web Story.

Original Publication Date: May 30, 2016

Southern Grace Bed & Breakfast

Tuesday 30th of May 2017

Nice article. TҺanks foг thе read.

Karyn Jane

Sunday 5th of June 2016

Sounds like a great tour! And such a great story about your guide and how he came to work there. I love that although his previous career ended he has been able to do this for the last seven years. He clearly enjoys himself!


Friday 3rd of June 2016

I have never had bourbon but this place isn't too far from home. Would make a great weekend trip with the hubby! Thanks for sharing!!

Susan Schwartz

Thursday 2nd of June 2016

OMG I adore Bourbon - lucky you!!!

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Friday 3rd of June 2016

You should visit Buffalo Trace for Best Sips!


Tuesday 31st of May 2016

Ooooh ... does this mean you are back state-side?

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Tuesday 31st of May 2016

Nope! Although we are currently in France, we still have stories to share about our North American road trip. Hopefully the mix of topics will keep things interesting for you.