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Rye whiskey artisan distiller tours

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#1 Rail Paul

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 06:05 PM

The NY Times has been following the rise of rye whiskey products with interest. Although the category doesn't even register in the rankings of whiskey products, rye has gained considerable acclaim among hipsters and trend setters.

The acclaimed NY state distiller Tuthilltown will be conducting a tasting of its beverages - Saturday, January 21st, 2012 - Rhinebeck Wine & Liquors, 41 E Market St, Rhinebeck, NY 12572

Other establishments are producing rye whiskey in Iowa, Texas, Virginia, etc.

Yet tucked away in the warehouse of Anchor Brewing Company’s Potrero Hill brewery, Anchor Distilling makes three whiskeys under the Old Potrero brand in beautiful custom-made copper pot stills. The stills are straight out of Jules Verne, all shiny metal coils and portholes. Pot stills are very traditional and have a limited capacity; it’s a point of pride for a small-batch craft distiller to avoid using a large column still, which is more economical and allows for continuous, big-volume distilling.

“When we started, this was the only pot-distilled whiskey in the U.S.,” Mr. Joseph said. “We wanted to go back before bourbon, to colonial times, and we had to do a lot of digging in really old books to teach ourselves about it.”


Anchor Distilling, 1705 Mariposa Street, San Francisco; (415) 863-8350; anchordistilling.com. A new series of distillery tours is available once a week (by appointment only; admission is free).

Buffalo Trace Distillery, 113 Great Buffalo Trace, Frankfort, Ky.; (502) 696-5926 or (800) 654-8471; www.buffalotrace.com. Tours and tastings available Monday to Saturday; opt for the “hard hat” tour, which takes visitors behind the scenes (by reservation only; admission is free).

Heaven Hill Distilleries, 1311 Gilkey Run Road, Bardstown, Ky.; (502) 337-1000; bourbonheritagecenter.com. Tours and tastings offered Tuesday to Saturday (free). This distillery recently released Trybox, a series of unaged whiskeys, or white dog, including the Rye New Make (when aged, it becomes the distillery’s Rittenhouse Straight Rye).

George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill, Route 235 (three miles south of Mount Vernon), Alexandria, Va.; (703) 780-2000; mountvernon.org. Tours of the distillery run from April 1 to Oct. 31 (admission is $4). The estate has been releasing limited-edition unaged rye whiskey every few months.

Templeton Rye, 209 East Third Street, Templeton, Iowa; (712) 669-8793; templetonrye.com. Tours and tastings are held every month by reservation ($5 per booking); see Web site for dates or to book a personal tour. First manufactured during Prohibition in the small town of Templeton, this was Al Capone’s whiskey of choice. In 2006, drawn to their families’ bootlegging history with the storied beverage, Scott Bush and Keith Kerkhoff built a distillery and revived the small-batch rye.

NY Times
“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones. ”
Niccolò Machiavelli