US-based Buffalo Trace Distillery has announced progress on a $1.2bn investment plan as the construction of its $50m bottling facility nears completion.

Located next to the distillery, the bottling plant is in the final stages of construction. Some lines have already become operational, while work concludes in other parts of the 110,000ft2 building. This is expected to be complete in August.

Buffalo Trace Distillery senior marketing director Kris Comstock said: “We’ve been increasing production for many years now. We’ll fill more barrels this year than ever before in our 246-year history.

“Many of our bourbons are aged for eight years or more, so although we have far more than a decade ago, demand continues to outpace our supply of mature bourbon. There will be more available every year, but it will be a while before bottles are readily available on liquor store shelves.

“While we’re flattered these brands have become so popular, we do understand the frustration our fans are experiencing when they see empty store shelves. We promise we are doing everything we can, but we can’t speed up the ageing process, so we just ask for continued patience.”

The infrastructure investment initiative began in 2016 and the last 18 months has seen four new barrel warehouses built.

Called AA, BB, CC and DD, the barrel warehouses will have the capacity to hold 70 million bottles. The fifth warehouse (EE) is currently under construction, while buildings six and seven are planned to be completed this year.

The company noted that all of its barrel warehouses cost around $7m each and will require another $21m each to fill with barrels. These investments form a significant part of the $1.2bn investment.

The company is also constructing a tower to chill water that is used to cool down the grain after it is cooked. The company is planning to add four cookers and four fermenters to the grain production line, as well as expand its visitor centre.

Buffalo Trace Distillery is owned by alcoholic beverage company Sazerac.