Buffalo Trace Distillery has unveiled The Prohibition Collection, a limited-edition collection honoring the whiskeys that were legally produced and sold at the distillery during those dark days. Known then as George T. Stagg Distillery, the debut collection consists of five Prohibition Era-brands that have since disappeared: Old Stagg, Golden Wedding, Three Feathers, Walnut Hill, and George T. Stagg Spiritus Frumenti.
During Prohibition purchasing alcohol was only legal with a medical prescription because, at the time, many doctors believed spirits could cure a wide variety of ailments. As such, the U.S. Government granted licenses to six distilleries to bottle medicinal whiskey, one of which was the George T. Stagg Distillery in Frankfort, KY, the longest continually-operating distillery in America.
The Inaugural Buffalo Trace Prohibition Collection:
- Old Stagg – Like its modern siblings George T. Stagg and Stagg, Old Stagg is an uncut, unfiltered, barrel-proof bourbon bottled at 132.4 proof. According to the tasting notes, it offers an oaky, vanilla aroma; a sweet and mellow taste with notes of leather and dark cherries; and a smooth vanilla finish.
- Golden Wedding – Based on a Pennsylvania brand originally made at the Joseph S. Finch Distillery by Schenley Distilling, Golden Wedding is a rye whiskey bottled at 107 proof which. It offers heavy rye on the nose; a grainy, herbal taste with notes of dill pickle and rye; and a spicy, smokey finish with a hint of banana.
- Three Feathers – Created by master blender Drew Mayville, Three Feathers is a bottled-in-bond bourbon (100 proof). It was first advertised as a luxurious rye before later becoming a bonded and then a blended whiskey. It offers a vanilla and charred oak aroma with stone and light tropical fruit on the palate; and smoke, caramel and cocoa coming through on the finish.
- Walnut Hill – Bottled by the George T. Stagg Distillery during Prohibition with production overseen by President Albert Blanton, Walnut Hill is a 90-proof high-rye bourbon featuring citrus, light corn, and oak on the nose; sweet molasses, stone fruit and vanilla on the palate; and a smokey, woody finish.
- George T. Stagg Distillery Spiritus Frumenti – A 110-proof wheated bourbon honoring the medicinal whiskey produced at the George T. Stagg Distillery, “Spiritus Frumenti” translates to “Spirit of the Grain” in Latin and was a generic name for medicinal whiskey during Prohibition. This version offers aroma of caramelized brown sugar on the nose; fruity and floral flavors on the palate with notes of cherry and oak; and finishes with vanilla, wheat, and citrus.
“We stand behind our motto, ‘Honor Tradition, Embrace Change’,” says Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Master Distiller. “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.”
Andrew Duncan, Global Brand Director for Buffalo Trace Distillery, added, “At Buffalo Trace Distillery, we build brands based on real, authentic stories firmly rooted in the rich history of excellent whiskey making in America. When we discovered these brands – and others – in our distillery’s history, we could not wait to bring them back to life and tell their stories again. By aging and selling barrels from numerous distilleries all over the country, the Buffalo Trace Distillery site played a key role in keeping American Whiskey alive during one of the most unique periods in the history of the spirits industry.”
The entire collection comes housed in a custom wooden display case. Each 375ml bottling is inspired by its Prohibition Era packaging and feature the cut-out for doctors to apply the prescription for medicinal whiskey.
The Prohibition Collection will roll out in limited quantities this October, and will be available at select retailers, bars ,and restaurants across the United States for a suggested retail price of $999.99. For more information, head over to the brand’s official website.