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Distiller Profiles

Dedicated Follower the of the Craft

Robert Spruill (pronounced “Sprool”) used to have the kind of job many of us would envy: He made movies. His first movie, Squeeze, told the tale of three teenage boys trying to fight back against the drugs and violence...
David Souza out in his family’s farm as sweet potatoes are harvested.

America’s First Sweet Potato Vodka

If I had to guess, I’d say 42-year-old David Souza III is a gambling man. Not because he dropped out of college to be a successful entrepreneur in the Las Vegas restaurant and club promotions industries, but because one...
Paso Robles Distillery Trail map

Blazing a Trail in Paso Robles: Central Coast Distillers Stake Out a New Route...

I’ve packed my car with essential gear and headed to California’s Central Coast. Wine and red oak barbecue country calls for folding knives, wine keys and lots of bubble wrap. With over 4,600 wineries and an estimated 600,000 acres...
Karen Hoskin of Montanya Distillers

Stills with Personality: A look at the Spirits Producers Who Give Their Stills Names

At Montanya Distillers in Crested Butte, CO, Karen Hoskin has assigned names to her trio of rum-producing copper pot stills: Bella, Bellisima and Bellatrix. Each has its own personality, she insists. Bellatrix, for example, has a “spike-heeled attitude” and...

The Dodo Bird of
 Distillation Resurfaces

The distilling community got a small jolt of reverse innovation when Leopold Bros. began using a once-extinct style of still, based on designs from the late 19th century — when rye whiskey was king. One of the early spirits the...

The New Orleans Distilling Scene

Let’s back up the van. If you were reading this article, say five years ago, it would be an entirely different story. In fact, I did write a piece about New Orleans’ fledgling distillery scene the summer of 2016....

Alan Bishop: Alchemist of Spirits of French Lick

Alan Bishop and his family have some history in distilling, and he has grown into someone who embodies the designation “master distiller,” even though he shies away from the tag. I’ve known Alan for over five years, and we...

From Roadside Bombs to Colorado Moonshine

Mike Girard first became interested in distilling through a nontraditional route: explosives. As a former US Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EOD) in Afghanistan in 2012, Girard found a way to re-forge swords of terrorism into ploughshares. Girard took a pressure...

Are We Ready for Accelerated Aging?

“There is hope that 1-year-old whisky may soon rival 16-year bonded liquor in taste and smell and at a vastly lower cost. … Chemists are glad Prohibition is over so they no longer have to listen to bootleggers for...

Copper & Kings Founder Discusses Transitioning Away From Sourcing

Many distilleries plan to source until their own spirits mature. But how do you make the transition when they actually are ready? Louisville, Kentucky-based Copper & Kings Distillery has played a truly critical role in the emergence of American brandy...