I recently had the pleasure of taking a tour of NYC’s oldest operating whiskey distillery, Kings County Distillery! The following few excerpts are from my article in the Spring Issue of Microshiner Magazine, which can be read in full here! There’s tons of interesting craft culture to dive into on everything from distillery visits and history, to “drinking music” pairings! Check it out and enjoy!
Tucked away among a Brooklyn Navy yard, in the shadow of the Manhattan skyline, sits a charming, century old brick building. From the outside, it could be anything. An accounting office? Or possibly a garment factory? In fact, it’s been used for both.
Today, this hidden gem is home to New York’s oldest operating whiskey distillery. The first to open since Prohibition, Kings County Distillery is paving the way for New York’s micro-distilled culture, giving it a much needed facelift after a lengthy drought…
Rich not only in flavor, but also in history, the distillery is home to the “Booz-eum.” Tattered brick walls adorned with posters, newspaper clippings and photos of Prohibition New York serve as a life-size timeline.
From the Boozeum, we made our way to the bourbon barrel room. As the large wooden door swung open, the delicious, honeyed scent of aging bourbon immediately tickled my nose, inviting every sense to lust after a taste of its sweetness. Close to 400 charred oak barrels lined the walls and several rows throughout the room. Each was labeled by date to invite the taste testing to begin after an eighteen month aging period.
Upon finishing our tour, Colin lead the way back to the tasting room. Clear glass bottles with simple labels decorated the walls, giving way to their anything-but-simple treasures inside….
Colin poured two slightly larger than taste-size samples of the amber-colored liquor. With a quick swirl, I took in the thick, luscious aroma, closing my eyes to truly indulge myself. Even whilst knowing the intricate process and care behind perfecting each drop of bourbon, it still managed to exceed my every expectation. Ultra-smooth with zesty hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper that complimented each other so effortlessly, it was as if the barrel had come with its own specific timer….
Kings County Distillery embodies the essence of craft culture and idea of quality over quantity.
Though Kings County Distillery is a business, it’s true objective runs much deeper than that. It’s a love of whiskey and a passion for spirit making. It’s a sense of integrity through small operation and superior craftsmanship. It’s about sharing stories and bringing a sense of community to Brooklyn. This philosophy is poured into the very spirits that flows through the distillery and one that can be tasted in each drop that sweetens the lips.
**All photos by the talented Michael Marquand as seen in Microshiner
[As seen in MicroShiner]