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Crown Cruise Vacations | July 24, 2024

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Buffalo Trace Distillery Selects Premium Bourbon Barrel for Holland America Line

Buffalo Trace Distillery Selects Premium Bourbon Barrel for Holland America Line
Jackie Sheckler Finch

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

The oldest continuously operating distillery in the United States will now have its famed bourbon on Holland America Line’s cruise ships. Award-winning distillery Buffalo Trace bourbon was made available fleet wide in March while supplies last.

“We strive to share experiences with our guests that they won’t find anywhere else,” Michael Stendebach, Holland American Line’s vice president of food, beverage and rooms divisions, said in a news release.

The premium Buffalo Trace offering was curated by Sazerac Master Blender Drew Mayville and Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame inductee Freddie Johnson.

Freddie Johnson

“Collaborating with Buffalo Trace to craft a signature bourbon has been an incredible journey. Drew and Freddie guided us to select a barrel that will resonate with our guests and is the perfect representation of our two iconic brands,” Stendebach said.

The opportunity to serve the unique bourbon arose when Mayville, an avid Holland America Line cruiser, endorsed the cruise line for the prestigious Sazerac Barrel Select program. The honor is limited to only a few participants each year.

Sazerac is a family of more than 450 brands from award-winning distilleries around the world. The Sazerac Barrel Select Program allows spirits enthusiasts the opportunity to hand-pick a barrel from Sazerac’s award-winning collection.

Holland America Line team members were invited to Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky, to join Mayville and Johnson in the private barrel selection room. At the distillery, the group chose four barrels. Then Mayville and Johnson, icons in the bourbon and spirits world, guided them through a tasting.

The group ultimately chose a barrel that offers the distinct characteristic of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, with more intense notes of oak and spice on the nose with a smooth, lingering finish.

“We aimed to select an expressive and distinctive barrel for Holland America Line, confident that their guests would enjoy trying something truly unique to the cruise line,” Mayville said in a news release.

The choice was Barrel #002, filled on Dec. 21, 2015, and aged in Warehouse U on Floor 5, Rick 34. The hand-selected barrel was bottled and shipped fleet wide for guests to order starting in March.

Cruisers seeking to try the exclusive bourbon will find it in the Ocean Bar on each Holland America ship, where it will be served neat, on the rocks or as an Old Fashioned.

Ocean Bar on Nieuw Statendam 

Buffalo Trace joins Holland America Line’s evolving beverage program that include partnering the award-winning bartender Ivy Mix that capture the essence of Mexico and Latin American, launching its own De Lijn gin and introducing a traditional, pirate-inspired rum punch crafted by renowned mixologist David Wondrich that is available on Caribbean cruises.

Additional destination-inspired beverage partnerships will be announced soon, Holland America Line has said.

Photos courtesy of Holland America Line

Ed. Note: Please contact us for more information and to book a cruise Crown Cruise Vacations | Cruise Getaways You Can Afford!

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