Fight Me! a cocktail story…

Some flavor pairings are universally loved and accepted, others tend to stir up some debate and some should never have been tried in the first place. I recently took a small step out of my comfort zone and entered the “I’m not Really a Bartender” amateur cocktail competition put...

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Oh Schnap!

I’m in the middle of making all the apple brandy we’ll use this year as the base of our gin and absinthe. Because of that, my mind has turned to schnapps. What comes to mind when you think of Schnapps? For most of us, probably memories of regret. Splitting...

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This Stinks! The nose knows…

Or does it? Humans, particularly here in the U.S., are rather bad at analyzing sensory information. Especially smell. This morning, upon arriving at the distillery, I immediately knew that the yeast I had pitched into our latest mash had taken off. Before the door had closed behind me it...

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Sister Stills…

As some of you know, this year’s ADI conference (American Distilling Institute) took us to Baltimore for a week. In addition to the outstanding bars and restaurants, a very educational Gin workshop at the Jos. Magnus distillery in DC and some great talks by presenting speakers one thing in...

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The Importance of Barrel Entry Proof

There are a number of reasons a distiller may choose a certain barrel entry proof for their spirit. Tradition, economics & desired flavor all weigh in. Let’s look at a couple. Most whiskies have regulations regarding maximum distilling proof and maximum barrel entry proof. The distillation proof ensures that...

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Craft is Crap pt. 2

In my last rant, I tackled the overuse of words like “Handcrafted” and “Artisanal”. In this one, we’ll go the other route and talk about what words you can and cannot use on your label. This all regards labelling in the U.S. and the TTB’s (Trade & Tax Bureau)...

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Craft is Crap: Part 1

Artisanal, Handcrafted, Locally Sourced, Small Batch. The list goes on and on and on. If you’re at all involved with the world of “Craft” Beer or Spirits you’re no doubt all too familiar with these words. But what does it all mean? Frankly, not a whole lot. Short of...

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Craft Distilling: a Manifesto

Craft Distilling, Micro Distilleries, Artisan…What does it really mean?   Depends who you ask.   My vision of a craft distilling movement is one that seeks to innovate and shake the roots of a very standardized industry. Creating products from scratch, developing interesting and unique flavor combinations from a...

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