Buffalo Trace’s new technical warehouse has ability to text

28th November, 2013 by Becky Paskin

Bourbon distillery Buffalo Trace has officially opened its new experimental Warehouse X, which is so packed full of tech, it has the ability to send text messages.

Warehouse-X-Buffalo-Trace

Buffalo Trace’s Warehouse X contains US$1 million worth of technology

Constructed to allow the Kentucky distillery to experiment with the affect environment has on maturing whiskey, Warehouse X contains around US$1 million worth of monitoring and reporting technology.

With an intention to measure the effect of light, airflow, temperature and humidity, Warehouse X has the ability to monitor liquid temperature, barrel weight, barrel temperature, and even air flow around the barrel.

It is able to send daily reports to the Buffalo Trace team, and even text messages to master distiller Harlen Wheatley should something go wrong, or an intruder be detected.

“The tech is probably the most expensive part of the project,” admitted Wheatley, who is on a quest to use Warehouse X to find “the holy grail” of Bourbon.

“This experimental warehouse closes the loop on the one thing we haven’t explored, which is the environment,” he said. “We’ve done recipes, barrels, ageing techniques and all kinds of reflux ratios to figure out why certain whiskeys taste the way they do, and we are learning a ton, but the one thing we also need to be exploring is the environment.”

Warehouse X’s experimenting will begin in February with a two-year exploration of light’s effect on maturing whiskey, before moving onto temperature for two years, humidity for two years and finally airflow. The entire project is expected to last 20 years.

For a more detailed examination of Warehouse X and how it could change the way Bourbon is matured in the future, see the December issue of The Spirits Business.

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