Gristmill Distillers hail from right down the road from me in upstate New York and we’ve been keeping a close eye on them for the past year or so. Like many craft distilleries their focus is local, quality ingredients from the nearby community, clean pure mountain water, and even their barrels are made in New York by US Barrel, the oldest cooperage in the North East.
While their first batches of bourbon aged they bided their time by putting out a white whiskey, called Rusty Piton, made out of 100% New York corn that they say is warm and smooth with with a hint of straight off the cob sweetness. White whiskey has been making headlines a lot lately, with big players and little getting into the market, and it’s great to see a craft operation like Gristmill release one instead of just going the vodka route while their whiskey aged.
The latter portion of 2015 saw the release of Gristmill Distillers Blackfly Bourbon, presumably the aged version of their white dog. Again from 100% corn, it’s aged in new American oak barrels and according to its makers has,
Hints of oak and sap mingle with a touch of corn– just enough to remind you that it’s a bourbon whiskey born of Adirondack farmland. A little spice, a clean finish, with a hint of oak remaining.
Mountain folk have a long history of distilling, whether it’s from the hollers of Kentucky to the Adirondacks, the home of Gristmill Distillers, they tend to do things the right way so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a bottle of their hooch. If whiskey isn’t your thing they also make some apple brandy and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few more novel releases with locally sourced ingredients pop up soon.
Sadly they don’t offer tours to the public right now [ornery neighbors and all] however you can often find them at regional farmers markets in Keene and Saranac Lake or click here to see a list of stockists. If you can track a bottle down, tell us what you think in the comments below.