This Buffalo Trace Distillery Virtual Tour review post is sponsored.
No one can really travel right now. I had to cancel a trip to Florida in March and one to Las Vegas in May. And actually, the last time I traveled to more than just the next town over was March 8. So almost exactly two months of staying in a two-town radius.
That’s actually a lot smaller of a circle once you realize that I live on the border of those two towns.
But, recently, I went to Buffalo Trace Distillery.
Now, before you come after me with pitchforks and warnings of how travel is unsafe, I didn’t go to Frankfort, Kentucky. I went to my couch.
See, Buffalo Trace Distillery has an amazing virtual tour that you can take from the comfort of your phone (or tablet).
Buffalo Trace Distillery Virtual Tour Review
To start the tour, you need to either download the BTD Virtual Tour app on your iPhone or download it on your Windows or Apple computer. (It’s currently not available on Android devices.) The app is completely free, by the way. That’s a lot cheaper than a flight to Kentucky.
Once you open the app, there are three virtual tours that you can take: The Buffalo Trace Hard Hat Tour, Distillery Tour, and Barrel Tour.
Don’t worry. This is not like a choose your own adventure book where you have to make the “right” choice. No matter which tour you start with, you can still view the other two. And there’s no limit to the amount of tours you can take.
Once you choose your tour, the technology behind the Buffalo Trace Distillery Virtual Tour gets really interesting.
The graphics are amazing. It looks just like a video game. A video game where you learn about Buffalo Trace bourbon. How cool is that? It’s spring now, so the weather is great in Kentucky. And it’s great on the virtual tour too. You can wander the grounds and see workers chatting together outside (six feet apart, of course). I heard that in the winter, the background changes to snow, so I’ll have to check this out again in December to confirm.
When you take the Buffalo Trace Distillery virtual tour, you have two options. You can take a self-guided tour or a guided tour.
Well, three options. You can hop off the guided tour to explore things on your own, then get back on the guided tour when you’re ready. So that hybrid tour is your third option.
If you choose to stick with the guided tour, you’ll follow prompts on the screen that take you around over 30 buildings.
The app will navigate you through the buildings and rotate to show you different parts of the grounds, all while a narration tells you about Buffalo Trace Distillery, the oldest continuously-operating distillery in the United States.
You learn about the distillery process, from grain selection to bottling.
There are yellow circles with exclamation points throughout the scenes. You can click on those and you’ll get an in depth description of various aspects of the distillery. Like the buffalo statue. Which you should click on if you’re wondering where the name Buffalo Trace came from.
If you want to look around more, the guided tour pauses after each scene. There’s a dial on the right side of your device that you can use to navigate through the scene.
So if you’re in the cookhouse and want a closer look at the “No Swimming” sign — which is an actual sign at the distillery to give caution because, if someone fell into the fermenting mash, he or she wouldn’t be able to escape — just use the dial to direct yourself over there.
If you’re completely autonomous and want to make your own tour, there’s a “Map” button in the upper left side of the screen. Click that and you’ll get an overview of all the locations on your current tour. You can navigate to whichever one you want to check out without having to go in order.
From there, you can also change your tour, turn the audio off, and more.
As I mentioned previously, the app is free. There is a prompt to register when you open the app.
Why would you want to?
Well, while you’re on the tour, you’ll find various bottles scattered throughout the scenes. You can click on them, “collect” the bottle, and learn about Buffalo Trace Distillery’s products.
At the end of the tour, you can check out your own virtual collection.
If you register, you’ll also be able to sign in and pick the tour up where you left off. You can tour as a guest, but you’ll start from the beginning every time.
I was texting my brother when I was taking the tour, and he said he and his wife took the tour a few years ago when they were in Kentucky. He said it was one of his wife’s favorite tours because they had fresh lemonade to go with the tasting at the end.
Unfortunately, due to the state of the world, the Buffalo Trace Distillery Tour and the Buffalo Trace Visitors Center are currently closed. So no tour, no lemonade, and no bourbon tastings right now.
Until the world opens back, you have to open your own bottle of Pappy van Winkle (which yes, is made at Buffalo Trace Distillery) and learn about the process virtually.