Buffalo Trace harvests Red Rovey cornBy Alice Brooker
Kentucky-based Bourbon maker Buffalo Trace will produce a few barrels of Bourbon from Red Rovey corn grown on its Whiskey Farm.
The Whiskey Farm, an area of land that lies adjacent to the distillery in Kentucky, US, was planted with Red Rovey corn seeds last year. In the summer, Buffalo Trace distillery was able to grow two small fields of Red Rovey corn for Bourbon production.
Red Rovey corn is known for producing healthy plants with a tolerance to leaf diseases, plus the kernels are considered to have an ‘excellent test weight’, with 16 to 18 kernels per row.
Due to the rainfall last year, the overall yield fell short of what was expected, meaning Buffalo Trace will only able to produce a ‘few barrels of Bourbon’ as a result.
Each year the distillery grows a variety of non-genetically modified (GMO) corn, which is harvested and distilled into Bourbon. Every crop harvested on Buffalo Trace’s distillery farm is aged on-site to become a single estate expression of the brand.
Over the last six years, the Bourbon producer has grown Boone County White corn, Japonica Striped corn, CF790 Conventional corn, Neon Pink Popcorn, Royal Blue and Hickory Cane White corn, and Indian corn.
Alongside issues with weather conditions, distillers in Kentucky have struggled with record-high barrel taxes recently.
A sum of US$33 million was to be paid by distillers in ageing barrel taxes in 2021, according to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Buffalo Trace owner Sazerac was among companies pledging donations to increase production in the state, despite barrel taxes.
The brand’s latest launch was its Antique Collection, featuring uncut and unfiltered expressions aged up to 18 years.
In September 2021, Buffalo Trace took legal action following a spate of online whiskey fraud.