In the current issue of The Bourbon Country Reader, I review Old Charter Classic 90. In response to that review, I received the following email from Mark Brown, President of the Buffalo Trace Distillery. I probably will publish it in the next issue, but it is relevant to many of our discussions here so I thought I would share it with everyone. I applaud Buffalo Trace for being forthcoming with information like this and hope other companies will follow their example.
Thank you for the very nice commentary on Charter 12 Year Old in the latest issue of The Reader.
Noted the question at the end of the article and wanted to write with an answer to the mystery.
When we acquired Weller and Charter, we purchased enough stock to cover our selling needs until our own distillations come of age. So, the Charter whiskey being used all came from the Bernheim inventory.
However, there is an interesting twist to the story.......
We actually distilled some Weller and Charter for UD in the late 80's / early 90's and have been aging them at the Trace since then. In the case of Charter 12, it is actually the whiskey we distilled and aged. In addition, given that Schenley owned both BTD and Bernheim at the same time, there was / is a lot shared knowledge and expertise between the two distilleries hence our ability to distill Charter competently. In the case of Weller, we had quite a bit of practice when distilling for UD.
As an aside, we are also big believers in consistency and have actually invested about $1.0 million in equipment to ensure that the Charter and Weller we are making and selling remains true to the original taste profiles.
When it comes to any of the whiskies from Buffalo Trace, if there are any ever questions you would like answered, we do believe in openness and will be happy to provide as much information as possible.
Thank you for your interest and coverage of Bourbons, it really does help the industry enormously.
Look forward to meeting you one day soon.
President / CEO
The Buffalo Trace Distillery