Ronnie Eddins began working at Buffalo Trace Distillery in 1961. In conjunction with Leonard Riddle, Ronnie was in charge of managing more than 300,000 barrels of aging whiskey. Ronnie’s other responsibilities included: incoming barrel inspections, branding, filling, location of filled barrels into their perfect aging spot in the warehouses, barrel storage, leak hunting, warehouse temperature control, selection of barrels for withdrawal, selection of barrels for the personalized barrel select program, and tank management.
Ronnie also worked at the Distillery in bottling, shipping and warehouse operations for 23 years before being promoted to Warehouse Manager in 1984.
Ronnie was an expert on barrel management and was in many ways like a Grandmaster of Chess - mastering the delicate act of which 500 lb barrels need to be removed in order to make room for new barrels to age, which barrels need to be placed where in the Distillery’s fleet of 13 warehouses, and even when the windows on each floor of those warehouses needed to be opened or closed for best aging climates.
Under Ronnie’s tutorship, hundreds of awards were bestowed upon Buffalo Trace Distillery’s bourbons, the marriage of “old” and “new” warehouse traditions were passed along to new generations, and innovations in new product ideas continued to expand. Ronnie was one of the driving forces in the Buffalo Trace Bourbon Experimental Whiskey Program, and headed up numerous experiments for more than 20 years. Some of the experiments included different chars and woods for aging whiskey. He even visited the Ozarks to hand select trees for barrels based on their growing location. His efforts, along with numerous other individuals, contributed to Buffalo Trace’s tradition of producing award-winning whiskey.
In 2008 Ronnie received Malt Advocate Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2009, Buffalo Trace Distillery dedicated Warehouse “I,” Ronnie’s favorite warehouse, to him in appreciation of nearly 50 years of service to the Distillery.
Ronnie was inducted in the Bourbon Hall of Fame in 2010, shortly before his death.
In recognition of his research and devotion to the Single Oak Project Bourbon, Buffalo Trace honors Ronnie with the initials “R. E.” on the back of each bottle.