Buffalo Trace Hopes Rare Bourbons Can Raise $1M for Charities
Buffalo Trace Distillery sent out vintage bourbon bottles dating back more than 30 years to nonprofits across the country in an effort to raise more than $1 million for various causes.
The distillery sent out 200 bottles named for Buffalo Trace’s original moniker and the distiller of the bourbons—O.F.C. Bourbon—that include vintages from 1980, 1982, and 1983.
“This is a very rare and special bottling, which is reflected in the packaging and the whiskey inside,” says Amy Preske, public relations and events manager for Buffalo Trace. “These bourbons were distilled over 30 years ago, but did not age for three decades. These bourbons were tasted and removed from the wood as they peaked in flavor over the years.”
The nonprofits selected span 37 states and a variety of causes, including cancer research and services, hunger relief, and animal welfare.
Organizations selected have until March 1 to hold their fundraisers and report back to Buffalo Trace on how much was raised.
This is the second time the distillery has donated bourbon to raise money for nonprofits. In 2011, Buffalo Trace gave away 174 bottles of its Millennium Barrel, the last bourbon barrel filled on the final day of 1999. Organizations subsequently raised more than $150,000.
Preske says the goal is to raise more than $1 million as the bottles are not available in stores, bars, or restaurants, and are expected to fetch high prices. Preske says it is up to each nonprofit to select the bidding parameters, and restaurants or other commercial establishments could bid as long as the organization approved it.
Some of the organizations have taken to auctioning, such as the Animal Protection Society of Durham, North Carolina, which partnered with the Leland Little auction house. The bottle raised $7,000, and Leland Little waived the auctioning fee and included a private wine and whiskey tasting for four people.
Kentucky-based NUBPL Foundation, which funds research for a rare mitochondrial disease caused by mutations in the NUBPL gene, created tiers of entry for a bourbon tasting event that included samples of its O.F.C. 1982 bottle.
For $250, entrants receive a flight of four rare bourbons including the O.F.C. Vintage, 20-year Pappy Van Winkle distilled by Stitzel Weller, a 20-year Willett Family Reserve, and a 1981 Old Grand Dad. The price also includes a bottle of Special Knob Creek Single Barrel Private Selection.