Leonard Riddle & Ronnie Eddins

Interview Date: October 16, 2008

Interview with Leonard Riddle and Ronnie Eddins, longtime warehouse managers at Buffalo Trace. In this interview, Leonard and Ronnie talk about early lives and explain how they came to work at the distillery in the 1960s. They discuss the evolution of the work environment at the distillery from the 1960s to the present. They also tell the surprising story of their first meeting at work and talk about the relationship they have since developed.

Leonard and Ronnie discuss the many products of the Buffalo Trace Distillery, explaining what makes each brand unique. They share some of the secrets behind their area of expertise: the complex process of aging bourbon whiskey. Aging a barrel of bourbon involves many factors–the barrel itself, the location of the barrel in the warehouse, the length of time the bourbon is aged–all factors which Leonard and Ronnie explain.

About Leonard Riddle

Leonard grew up in Frankfort, Kentucky. After graduating high school, he went to work for Buffalo Trace in 1964. He has spent nearly all of his forty-four year long career at the distillery working in the warehouses. Both of his parents worked for distilleries before him–his mother for Buffalo Trace and his father for Jim Beam. Leonard is married to Margaret Riddle and has seven children.

Favorite Bourbon: W.L. Weller

About Ronnie Eddins

Ronnie Eddins was born and raised on a farm in Henry County near Frankfort, Kentucky. Ronnie went looking for work as a young man and was hired at Buffalo Trace, where he has held many different positions, although he has worked longest in warehousing. Ronnie has also continued to farm while working for Buffalo Trace. Ronnie is married and has a son.

Favorite bourbon: Buffalo Trace

Link to full interview video and transcript on the Kentuckiana Digital Library

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