Congratulations Freddie Johnson!

Today at the Frazier History Museum in downtown Louisville, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association will welcome four men into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame. I am proud to know one of them, Buffalo Trace’s beloved tour guide Freddie Johnson.

On a misty spring morning in 2016, while in Frankfort to research Freddie’s father’s military service for Bourbon & Bullets, I met with Freddie for about an hour at Buffalo Trace. He was (as always) busy educating and entertaining other guests, but he was incredibly gracious with his time and attention.

In between tours, we walked up to the “James B. Johnson, Jr. Room” in the “Elmer T. Lee” employee clubhouse and talked about his dad, Elmer, their Army days, and how the distillery has evolved. Freddie shared several poignant stories, he served up some Buffalo Trace white dog and bourbon whiskey, and he took me to see the powerful mash cookers that fueled the distillery’s operations during WWII when it pumped about millions of gallons of industrial alcohol for the War Department.

Freddie is a class act, a national treasure, and a most deserving recipient of the Hall of Fame honor. Congratulations!

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