Can New York City Make Good Bourbon?


Over the weekend, Kings County Distillery (New York’s first whiskey distillery since Prohibition) opened its doors and welcomed visitors in for a tour and a taste of its just-released bourbon.

The bourbon, which has been aged for about five and a half months, is currently only for sale at the distillery, but will eventually become available in liquor stores come March. Why such a short maturation time (most bourbons age for about four years)? Kings County Distillery uses smaller barrels, meaning that the barrel-to-liquid ratio is higher than at a commercial distillery; thus, the bourbon doesn’t need as much time in the barrel.

“It tastes a little tree-ish,” joked Colin Spoelman, who founded the distillery along with David Haskell. Indeed, there’s a woodsy quality to the bourbon, but it’s smooth and well-balanced with just a hint of spice.

The bourbon is available at the distillery both next weekend (December 11 and 12) and the following weekend (December 18 and 19), from noon to 7, and Spoelman and Haskell will be conducting tours of the facility as well as bourbon tastings. The distillery is located at 35 Meadow Street (at Bogart) in Brooklyn. Buzz “Kings County Distillery” to enter the building.

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