Explore iconic Buffalo Trace distillery in VR

The sun glints off brick warehouses nestled amid rolling hills on the banks of the Kentucky River. Sweet aromas of whiskey aging in charred oak barrels waft through the crisp morning air.

Welcome to bourbon country.

In a new VR interactive, the USA TODAY Network and Oculus transport you to Buffalo Trace Distillery in the heart of Kentucky’s bourbon trail. The iconic, 200-year-old distillery produces over a dozen bourbons, including Eagle Rare, Blanton’s and the legendary Pappy Van Winkle (bottles of the rare 23-year-old variety go for over $2,000). The distillery grounds are a mecca for bourbon enthusiasts, day-trippers and locals.

In this exclusive VR tour, skip the trip to Frankfort, Ky., and go behind the scenes with master distiller Harlen Wheatley and long-time tour guide Freddie Johnson:

You’ll also get a peek inside some rarely seen places. Navigate the interactive to discover “Bourbon Pompeii” and “Warehouse X,” two spots you won’t find on the public tour.

The interactive, filmed and produced by the USA TODAY Network and built by Oculus using its newly unveiled React VR framework, contains 360-degree photos layered with 2-D videos, text and spatial audio. You can browse in 360 degrees on your mobile device or desktop.

The VR experience debuts at F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference. A developer preview is available in VR for the following devices:

  • Samsung Gear VR: Download the Carmel Developer Preview on Gear VR and press “View in VR” from any 2-D browser 
  • Google Daydream: Press “View in VR” on Chrome using a Google Pixel phone
  • Oculus Rift and HTC Vive: Download Chromium Experimental

Those attending F8 can check it out in the Oculus Developer Garage.


Anthony Fox, Daryl Bjoraas, Niko Chauls, Ray Soto, Robert Padavick, Russ Torres

Bailey Loosemore, Dustin Strupp

Amber Roy, Andrew Mo, Marcos Carranza


Leave a Reply

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert.