Saturday, July 1, 2017

Falk and Baranaskas, Saviors of Buffalo Trace, Belong in the Hall of Fame



Imagine a world without the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

If you think that prospect is too horrible to contemplate, say a quiet word of thanks to Ferdie Falk and Robert Baranaskas, without whom that great distillery might be a state office complex today.

In 1983, veteran spirits execs Falk and Baranaskas bought the nearly-idle Albert Blanton Distillery in Frankfort from Schenley and formed a new company called Age International. They ran it successfully during some of the worst years for the American whiskey business since Prohibition itself. They enjoyed a nice payday when they sold it to their Japanese partners, who immediately sold the distillery to Sazerac, itself one of the few companies in those days making money selling American whiskey. Sazerac renamed it Buffalo Trace and the rest is bourbon history.

Ancient Age kept the brands it made there: Blanton's, Ancient Age, Elmer T. Lee, and others. Buffalo Trace still makes them, under contract.

For the whole story, including the likely reason they aren't in the Hall, you need to read the new issue of The Bourbon Country Reader.

The Sazerac Company figures in this issue's other story too, as the company has submitted a patent application for its Old Fashioned Sour Mash process, which differs from conventional sour mash in that it does not use backset (i.e., stillage).

Current subscribers should receive their copies in the next few days. New subscribers can get on the bandwagon by clicking here.

The Bourbon Country Reader is the oldest publication devoted entirely to American whiskey. It is a charming mix of news, history, analysis, and product reviews. Do you worry that advertising spending influences coverage in other publications? No chance of that here since The Bourbon Country Reader is 100 percent reader-supported. It accepts no advertising.

To experience The Bourbon Country Reader for yourself, you need to subscribe. Honoring tradition, The Bourbon Country Reader still comes to you exclusively on paper, in an envelope, via the USPS.

A subscription to The Bourbon Country Reader is still just $20 per year for addresses in the USA, $25 for everyone else. The Bourbon Country Reader is published six times a year, more-or-less, but your subscription always includes six issues no matter how long it takes.

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