Skip to main content

Buffalo Trace brings back old-timey whiskey brands not seen since Prohibition

Don't miss the Buffalo Trace Prohibition Collection

ff
Buffalo Trace

When it comes to bourbon (and American whiskey in general) there are few names more well-respected than Buffalo Trace. Obviously, Jack Daniel’s, Jim Beam, and even Wild Turkey are more well-known. But none of them have the accolades and enthusiastic fanbase of Buffalo Trace. Makers of iconic whiskeys like Eagle Rare, Weller, Stagg, Blanton’s, E.H. Taylor, and even Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace is unrivaled in the American whiskey world. But those aren’t even the only whiskeys produced under the Buffalo Trace whiskey umbrella.

The fact that this distillery seems to make nothing but award-winning whiskeys is why we were so excited when we heard that the brand is releasing a line of whiskeys it’s calling “The Prohibition Collection” this month. This new, annual limited-edition collection was created to pay tribute to the various whiskeys that were produced by the then-called George T. Stagg Distillery during Prohibition.

Yes, you read that right. The brand that’s now known as Buffalo Trace made and sold whiskey between 1920 and 1933 when Prohibition (with the ratification of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution) made the production, sale, and transportation illegal in the United States. This is because many doctors believed that whiskey could cure various ailments (hence doctors prescribing hot toddies in Scotland, England, and beyond as well). The U.S. government granted licenses to a few distilleries to make whiskey for medical purposes. This included George T. Stagg.

The Prohibition-era whiskeys being released in “The Prohibition Collection” are the formerly defunct Old Stagg, Golden Wedding, Three Feathers, Walnut Hill, and George T. Stagg Spiritus Frumenti.

  • Old Stagg is a barrel-proof, uncut, unfiltered bourbon.
  • Golden Wedding is a 107-proof whiskey.
  • Three Feathers is a 100-proof botted-in-bind whiskey.
  • Walnut Hill is a 90-proof high-rye bourbon.
  • George T. Stagg Distillery Spiritus Frumenti is a 110-proof wheated bourbon made to be an homage to the medicinal whiskeys produced at the distillery.

“We stand behind our motto, ‘Honor Tradition, Embrace Change,’” said Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Master Distiller, in a press release. “Each of these brands disappeared slowly in the years after Prohibition, but they were integral to our survival. Without them, today there would be no Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, or Weller bourbons. The Prohibition Collection is a tribute to these great whiskeys from our past.”

The best part? Instead of buying one bottle and then not knowing whether or not it would be your favorite in the collection, you can buy a set featuring all five bottles. The custom-made wooden case features all five expressions in 375ml bottles (half the size of the average bottle). This is because, during Prohibition, bottles came in this size. Not only that, the case and bottles are adorned with Prohibition-era artwork and labels. The packaging stays true to its Prohibition medicinal history by featuring back cartons that can be cut out so you can give them to your doctor to apply for a whiskey prescription (although they might scratch their head if you use them).

Since this is a limited-edition, highly sought-after collection, it’s not cheap. Available at selected retailers, bars, and restaurants in the U.S. right now, the full collection retails for $999.99. That’s a high price to pay for some medicine. But you do you.

Learn More

Editors' Recommendations

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
The best new non-alcoholic drinks for a happy hour without the hangover
NA drinks are better than ever
Wilderton Aperitivo and citrus.

Within the vast realm of drinks, the most evolved as of late is arguably the non-alcoholic category. While we've seen exciting new cocktail trends and useful new beer hop varieties, it's the NA world that's made the biggest strides in the last couple of years. That means we no longer have to shutter when seeing things like zero proof on labels, as the options now are better than ever.

Why the upswing? A perfect storm, really. Wellness trends continue while tech continues to evolve, making the creation of such drinks all the easier. The NA sector has proven itself to be a major player in the marketplace, and the producers have responded accordingly, giving these drinks the TLC they deserve.

Read more
The best sparkling water cocktails to rival hard seltzers
Like hard seltzers? You can make even more flavorful drinks at home with these great sparkling water cocktail recipes
Fresh spring sparkling water

With all due respect to the White Claw crowd, there are better hard seltzer options out there. Among them are the recipes you can tackle at home, provided you have at least a few popular spirits. After all, while canned cocktails can be delicious, it's tough to top one made fresh, especially when there's citrus and other fruit involved.

Bartenders know that sparkling water is a key ingredient in many cocktails and having some soda water or club soda ready is always a good idea. Sparkling water can balance out ingredients, add some fizzy texture, and impart a pleasant sense of minerality. Yes, it's clear and neutral looking but it pops with energy and is just begging to be in your next favorite cocktail.

Read more
Women distillers you should know who make spirits all over the world
Support these companies by adding bottles of these tasty spirits to your liquor cabinet
Rachel Barrie

Historically, the spirits industry has been dominated by men, their contributions immortalized by iconic bottles bearing their names. And though we all love a good Jack Daniel's, it’s always good to taste the hard work and contributions of not just men; the best spirits should be as diverse and unique as the people who enjoy them. And luckily, women-owned distilleries and the women distillers and blenders who run them are are stepping up.
Female-owned spirits companies to support

Around the world, women have been breaking through that distillery glass ceiling, turning the world of distilling and spirits into a more varied and interesting field. From gin to whiskey and everything in between, these are some of the most paradigm-shattering female distillers that you should know about and support.
Kirsty Black
Arbikie Highland Estate distillery on Scotland’s Angus coast has made a name for itself as one of the most experimental distilleries out there with its “farm to bottle” approach, and one of the driving forces behind that innovation is Master Distiller Kirsty Black. Coming from a background as an engineer in the medical device field, Black switched over to distilling, studying at Heriot-Watt University before being asked to helm Arbikie’s (which originated as a multi-generational farm) distillery.

Read more