Liquor Laboratory

Why Is Buffalo Trace Hard To Find? (2024 Best Edition)

why is buffalo trace hard to find

Last Updated on April 13, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Bourbon whiskey’s lengthy aging process in charred oak barrels and the high demand for the spirit make it hard to find in common liquor stores. 

Buffalo Trace is just one Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey brand that’s difficult to get nowadays. 

But really, why is Buffalo Trace hard to find? Here’s why. 

Why Buffalo Trace Products Are Hard To Find 

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey(why is buffalo trace hard to find)

Based on Buffalo Trace, the products are hard to find in liquor stores because the whiskeys they put inside barrels years ago have yet to be appropriately aged for selling, and the stocks are insufficient to meet the demands in some locations.

That doesn’t mean there is a shortage because you can find Buffalo Trace in some states in the US. The main reason lies behind their production capacity.

The brand is dedicated to releasing only bottles that have passed their intricate quality assessment. They are not interested in releasing subpar-quality whiskeys to make a quick buck. 

In the meantime, the brand is expanding its production capacities to create bigger batches and schedule allocated bottles. However, it will still be some time before the Buffalo Trace batches are aged enough for bottling. 

Factors That (Possibly) Make It Difficult To Find 

Factors That (Possibly) Make It Difficult To Find 

State Population


Buffalo Trace only allocates limited bourbon bottles per state. This number is then parsed out to businesses based on past sales to match the state population.

Can you guess what happens next? Yes, smaller retailers and businesses often get zero. 

When retailers get unicorn or rare bottles from time to time, they save them for loyal, long-time customers, sell them as one-ounce pours, or hold lotteries to raise funds for charity.

In our recent conversation with whiskey connoisseurs and whiskey enthusiasts, the prices rise on most sought-after bourbons and limited-release bottles, especially in the secondary market.

This is why it takes much work to catch Buffalo Trace bottles in a local liquor store nowadays—the limited production due to the unique aging process results in limited availability from the supplier.

Read: Top Alternatives For Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Historic Consumption/Demand

Old fashioned cocktail



Buffalo Trace is the country’s oldest distillery.

Whiskey enthusiasts consider it a historic landmark, so their labels are popular with the enthusiasts and those new to bourbon. 

The quality of their spirits has not changed over the years, making it one of the industry’s most reliable and trustworthy.

There will always be a demand for quality, highly sought-after whiskey, and Buffalo Trace labels will not disappoint. 

Read: Bourbon vs Whiskey

Popularity of Buffalo Trace Distillery

It is said that the increasing popularity of Buffalo Trace products can be attributed to its media exposure.

It has been mentioned quite a few times in the popular Spotify podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience, wherein he talked about his experience and love for the Buffalo Trace bourbon.

Moreover, unlike other whiskies, it has a distinctive flavor thanks to its unique mash bill and aging process. With this, exclusive bottles and most sought-after bourbons have high demand.

Bourbon enthusiasts would agree that the unique combination of corn, malted barley, and rye and the unique aging process give it a sweet flavor that makes it more in demand.

Needless to say, he piqued his listeners’ interest after he shared his love for the spirit. But is Buffalo Trace a wheated bourbon?


Buffalo Trace in a cabinet


Buffalo Trace products are not the most affordable labels on the market, but their price points are definitely a steal for the quality you’re getting.

It’s challenging to find award-winning bottles at Caskers with a price point shy of $32.99 (for Buffalo Trace). But can you buy Buffalo Trace at Trader Joe’s?

Buffalo Trace’s award-winning bourbon whiskey, the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, Eagle Rare, Sazerac Rye, Pappy Van Winkle, William Larue Weller (WL Weller), and other limited edition bottles are good bang for your buck compared to other whiskeys.

Supply Issues

People automatically assume that a product is of good quality standards if there are issues with supply or the item is always sold out.

Since Buffalo Trace can’t keep up with the public’s demand for the products, people want it even more. 

There’s a long waiting list for online shopping because of high demand and limited supplies of Buffalo Trace’s bourbon whiskey.

ReadBuffalo Trace vs Bulleit Bourbon

What Buffalo Trace Says About Its Products’ Availability 

Old fashioned cocktail ingredients with Buffalo Trace

The Buffalo Trace Distillery is trying its best to meet people’s demands regarding its bourbon whiskey by expanding its production capacity.

However, their whiskeys must still meet the minimum aging requirement [1] and bottling standards before being released to the public.

“A lot of people didn’t realize is just how much product you lose to evaporation each year.” Matt Higgins, Buffalo Trace Visitor Center Manager

Buffalo Trace has placed their whiskeys on allocation to manage the whiskey shortage. 

They have to be as fair to their patrons as possible when releasing their limited bottles, so they have a strict rule of one bottle of Buffalo Trace Bourbon whiskey per customer per day. 

Read: How To Look For Allocated Bourbon

Bourbon Availability Per State

The availability of Buffalo Trace bourbons depends on regional distribution. This means that a specified number of bottles are allocated to each state throughout the year. You also have to factor in the supply vs demand element.

“In a world where patience is a virtue, finding Buffalo Trace is the ultimate test.” -Liquor Laboratory

Whiskey connoisseurs say it’s a hit or miss in Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.

In Florida, you’ll find it on every shelf for some months. In Colorado and California, we’ve heard Buffalo Trace is everywhere.

Most of Buffalo Trace’s expressions are available online. However, the bottle prices are subject to the discretion of the secondary market and are often notably higher.

Learn about the Buffalo Trace cigars here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Buffalo Trace worth the money, even though it’s hard to find?

Yes, Buffalo Trace is worth the money, even though it’s pretty difficult to find a bottle. The distillery produces some of the best quality bourbons on the market. But what’s so special about Buffalo Trace

And for its price point of just shy of $30, as per Drizly, it’s a steal (considering you do get it at SRP). 

Is there a Buffalo Trace shortage making it hard to find?

Technically, there isn’t a Buffalo Trace shortage. The distillery has revealed that they’ve upped its production capacity.

They’ve grown production by an estimated nine times since 1992. 

Is Buffalo Trace Bourbon expensive? 

No, Buffalo Trace bourbon whiskey is not expensive compared to other whiskeys in specialty liquor stores.

You can find Buffalo Trace bourbon whiskey at local stores for around $30, and more bourbon has higher prices.

However, the limited production due to the aging process in charred oak barrels affects the pricing of Buffalo Trace bourbon. With this, the official prices can be higher in the secondary market.

Why is Buffalo Trace hard to find right now?

Buffalo Trace’s scarcity can be attributed to various factors, including its immense popularity, limited production capacity, and occasional disruptions in the supply chain. The distillery’s commitment to producing high-quality bourbon often leads to increased demand, creating shortages in the market. Additionally, the aging process required for quality bourbon further contributes to limited availability, making Buffalo Trace a sought-after and elusive spirit.

Why can you only buy one bottle of Buffalo Trace?

Restrictions on the purchase of Buffalo Trace, limiting customers to one bottle, are often implemented to ensure a fair distribution and prevent hoarding. Given its high demand and limited supply, such policies aim to make the bourbon accessible to a broader customer base, discouraging bulk purchasing by individual buyers. This practice helps prevent the resale of multiple bottles at inflated prices and promotes a more equitable distribution within the consumer market.

Why is Buffalo Trace such a big deal?

Buffalo Trace’s prominence is a result of its exceptional craftsmanship, rich history, and the distinct flavor profile of its bourbon. As one of the oldest continuously operating distilleries in the United States, Buffalo Trace has garnered a reputation for producing high-quality spirits. Its bourbons are known for their complexity, balance, and smoothness, earning numerous awards and accolades. The combination of limited availability, consistent quality, and a dedicated fan base contributes to the mystique surrounding Buffalo Trace, making it a coveted and celebrated brand in the world of whiskey enthusiasts.

Is Buffalo Trace a top shelf?

Buffalo Trace is often considered a top-shelf bourbon, indicating its premium quality and higher market positioning. The term “top shelf” is commonly associated with spirits that are of superior quality, often priced accordingly. Buffalo Trace’s reputation for producing exceptional bourbon, along with its limited availability and high demand, has contributed to its classification as a top-shelf spirit in the eyes of many whiskey connoisseurs.

Is Buffalo Trace still made?

Yes, Buffalo Trace is still actively produced. The Buffalo Trace Distillery, located in Frankfort, Kentucky, continues to craft a variety of bourbon expressions, maintaining its legacy as one of the most esteemed distilleries in the industry. The brand’s commitment to traditional methods, quality ingredients, and a rich heritage ensures that Buffalo Trace remains a staple in the world of bourbon, with its spirits being sought after by enthusiasts and collectors alike.

What is comparable to Buffalo Trace?

Several bourbons are considered comparable to Buffalo Trace due to their similar mash bills, flavor profiles, and overall quality. Brands like Eagle Rare, Evan Williams Single Barrel, and Four Roses Single Barrel are often mentioned as alternatives, offering enthusiasts a chance to explore bourbons with comparable characteristics to Buffalo Trace, although each still maintains its unique nuances.

Is Buffalo Trace more expensive than Maker’s Mark?

Buffalo Trace and Maker’s Mark are typically priced similarly, falling within a similar price range in many markets. While pricing can vary based on location and availability, both bourbons are generally considered affordable and offer excellent value for their quality. The relative affordability of these brands contributes to their popularity among bourbon enthusiasts.

Why do people like Buffalo Trace?

People appreciate Buffalo Trace for its exceptional quality, well-balanced flavor profile, and smooth finish. The bourbon’s rich and complex taste, which often includes notes of caramel, vanilla, and a hint of spice, appeals to a wide range of palates. Additionally, its relative affordability and limited availability contribute to its allure, making Buffalo Trace a sought-after choice among both seasoned whiskey enthusiasts and newcomers to the bourbon scene.

Is Buffalo Trace similar to Jack Daniels?

Buffalo Trace and Jack Daniel’s are distinct types of whiskey, with Buffalo Trace being a bourbon and Jack Daniel’s a Tennessee whiskey. While both fall under the whiskey umbrella, they undergo different production processes and have diverse flavor profiles. Buffalo Trace, being a bourbon, is known for its sweet and complex taste, whereas Jack Daniel’s, as a Tennessee whiskey, tends to have a smoother and slightly smoky flavor due to its charcoal filtering process. Despite both being popular choices, they cater to different preferences within the whiskey spectrum.

Is Buffalo Trace a quality bourbon?

Yes, Buffalo Trace is widely regarded as a quality bourbon. It has received numerous awards and accolades for its craftsmanship and exceptional flavor. The distillery’s commitment to using high-quality ingredients, traditional production methods, and its long-standing heritage contribute to the overall positive perception of Buffalo Trace as a benchmark for quality in the world of bourbons. Its consistent popularity and positive reviews from whiskey experts further solidify its status as a quality bourbon.

So, Why Is Buffalo Trace Hard To Find?

Buffalo Trace bottles are hard to find nowadays because many barrels are not ripe enough for bottling. Production is up, but so is demand.

Unfortunately, there is limited availability of Buffalo Trace’s bourbons because of limited production.

The distillery has upped its production game about nine times since 1992, but it will take a while before the spirit inside the barrels meets their quality standards for selling.

Buffalo Trace Distillery is one of the oldest distilleries in the country. They take pride in selling reliable and trustworthy whiskey with quality that has stayed the same over the years. 

It helps that today’s media is talking about the bourbon’s quality, which is why the demand for Buffalo Trace bourbon has grown even more. 


  1. What a Whiskey’s Age Statement Really Means
  2. The Effects of Aging on Liquor
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