During that period of time, distillers have embraced homemade spirits.
Large distillation houses have come and gone. The same is true with the smaller, craft houses as well.
The number of ‘craft distillers’ has grown in the past 13 years, as illustrated below.
In 2005, 50 distilleries existed.
Thanks to my friend, legendary wine and spirits consultant Chris Corrao, I came into contact with a group of American craft distillers who work together showing their handcrafted spirits to bartenders, retailers, press and consumers.
The group is called “The American Still Life Collection” and consists of fifteen companies, all ‘craft distillers’.
A few days ago, I was invited to a tasting of ‘The American Still Life Collection’ led by F. Paul Pacult.
All of the producers (9) were present to explain about their companies, distillation techniques and to answer questions.
The line-up was simple. Vodka first and coffee liquor last.
Each distiller explained in depth about the products that we tasted. All stories had a common theme: handcrafted and small batches using local products that help create authenticity.
Each style and spirit I sampled tasted authentic and well crafted.
If you are a true spirits person, consider my recommendations when you purchase spirits.
BOYD & BLAIR Potato Vodka (Pennsylvania)
151 proof, using Pennsylvania potatoes and a copper pot still.
ENLIGHTENED GRAIN Windsor Earl Grey//Sage Vodka (Oregon)
This spirit bridges the gap between gin and vodka.
HALF MOON Orchard Gin (New York)
Distilled from local, Hudson Valley, apples and grains.
An award winning state –of-the-art craft producer who has won numerous awards.
Organic whiskey using only New York state grains.
CORSAIR Triple Smoke Whisky (Tennessee)
Classic craft spirits with unique flavors using copper pot stills.
Family operation using pot stills.
BITTERMENS New Orleans Coffee Liqueur (Louisiana)
Award winning liqueurs from my hometown.