Category Archives: Distillery Tours

Mad River Distillers: Spirits With a Sense of Place

mad river barn

photo courtesy of Mad River Distillers

We’re mad about Mad River Distillers.

Maura Connolly, a co-founder of the Warren, Vermont-based craft distillery, visited Bottles on an unusually warm day in January to talk about and taste our team through the line of Mad River small-batch spirits.

Her distillery, a red-roofed, renovated horse barn, is cradled in the heart of the Green Mountains. In that quintessential New England structure, their craft Mueller still (designed specifically to make brandies, rums and whiskies) produces spirits that are distinctly of their place. That is, they are all made by hand and from scratch using raw materials from Vermont and neighboring regions. Nearly all ingredients — from the water drawn from a nearby mountain spring, to the corn in their bourbon and the apples in their brandy — are from local land, farms and orchards. And for those ingredients that aren’t indigenous, such as cane sugar, Mad River purchases from fair-trade certified, sustainable sources.
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We started with their First Run Rum, which is distilled from fair-trade demerara sugar, and like their bourbon and rye, is aged in charred barrels. We all agreed that with its rich bourbon-like texture, and smooth, caramel finish, it was indeed how Maura described it: a rum for whiskey drinkers.

Next was the Mad River Maple Rum which is as good as it sounds. Like the First Run it has whiskey-like qualities. Its unmistakable maple flavor comes from a secondary aging in oak barrels that once held pure Vermont maple syrup. Maura suggested that it makes a terrific Old Fashioned on the rocks, and that it’s also great just out of the freezer, on ice.

The Mad River Bourbon is a four-grain wheated bourbon, made from a special strain of a non-GMO corn grown in VT just for the distillery, as well as wheat, oats and malted barley. We were all impressed with the strong though not overbearing corn flavor, and could imagine how great it would be served in front of a roaring fire with a bowl of popcorn.

The Mad River Rye made from 100% organic rye grown in nearby New York was a hit with the team as well. We all agreed it would make a great sipping rye, with classic pepper and winter baking spice flavors, all complemented by a surprising, subtle mocha note that we were told was from a dark chocolate roasted rye in the mash bill.

We ended our tasting with Malvados, Mad River’s flagship apple brandy. A wink and a nod to the classic French apple brandy Calvados, Mad River’s tart, sour and sweet version is made from eight varieties of Vermont-grown heirloom apples and cider. It recently won a highly coveted Good Food Award – we can see why.

Because Maura and her team are so focused on quality and small-batch production, their spirits are only available in three states. We’re so glad Rhode Island is one of them and are honored to currently be the state’s exclusive purveyor of the entire line of Mad River spirits.

Here are a few Mad River cocktail recipes that we love. Visit their website for others, and enjoy!

madriver_maple
Russell Warren Old Fashioned 
Created by Ashish at the Russell House Tavern, Boston
3 oz Mad River Maple Rum
.5 oz Honey Syrup
1 dash Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
Optional: Club Soda
Stir all ingredients with a pinch of mint. Serve over ice. Garnish with Mint.

madriver_campari
1794

1.5 oz. Mad River Rye
1.5 oz. Campari
1.5 oz. Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
Stir Rye, Campari and vermouth over ice. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with an orange swath.

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Fancy Pants

2 oz. Mad River Bourbon
1/2 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
2 dash orange bitters
dash Angostura Bitters
orange twist
Combine all ingredients except orange twist in a pitcher and stir. Pour over ice into a rocks glass and garnish with the twist.

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Hillrock Estate Distillery: An Exclusive Whiskey Pairing for Father’s Day, Only at Bottles

hillrock-barrel40-vert1

Hillrock Estate Distillery. Grain to Glass. Barrel to Bottles.

Bottles is proud to announce the release of our private barrel of Hillrock Estate Double Cask Rye just in time for Father’s Day.  Barrel No. 40—personally selected earlier this year at the Hudson Valley distillery, by our own Eric Taylor and Liam Maloney—was bottled last month. Each bottle is individually numbered and signed by Hillrock’s Master Distiller, Dave Pickerell, and bears a special label signifying it as a “Bottles Special Edition.”

On a beautiful winter day at Hillrock, Dave shared with us his philosophy of distilling (“Play with your whiskey. You can’t be lazy with it. You’ve got to get your glasses steamy.”) and his thoughts on what makes the estate so distinctive. And of course, we tasted. After sampling more than 8 single barrels, we settled on Barrel No. 40. We were charmed by its full, creamy and smooth mouthfeel, the Hillrock characteristic hints of clove and cinnamon, and its warm, long finish.

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Limited quantities of The Hillrock Estate Double Cask Rye – Bottles Edition, are on sale now exclusively at Bottles. Make it the perfect Father’s Day gift this year by pairing it with an AVO No. 9, a mild-to-medium cigar with a smooth and slight spicy flavor. $100 for the pair, while supplies last.

Show your dad he’s one of a kind and give him this one-of-a-kind whiskey, available only at Bottles.

 Cheers,
Katie

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Sons of Liberty Distillery – Pumpkin Whiskey Made in RI

Sons of Liberty Distillery Pumpkin Whiskey
Pumpkin Whiskey is here! If you haven’t heard, Sons of Liberty Spirit Company from South Kingston, Rhode Island, makes an award-winning seasonal whiskey: Pumpkin Spice Flavored Whiskey. And guess what? You can get your bottle at our store! We can even ship it to you, if you’re not fortunate enough to be located in New England.

Check out our visit to the Sons of Liberty distillery, where we met up with owner/distiller Mike Reppucci:

Sons of Liberty Spirits Co. is the first distillery to offer seasonal craft whiskies. Breweries have seasonal brews, so why not whiskey? And, this Pumpkin Whiskey uses all local Rhode Island pumpkins that are roasted to perfection. Add some winter spices like clove, allspice, vanilla, cinnamon, & sweet orange, and you have a buzz-worthy American craft whiskey. No artificial flavor or coloring here!
Make a Pumpkin Cider Martini, a Pumpkin Manhattan, or enjoy the beautiful aromas and flavors neat. Cheers! www.solspirits.com

 

Bottles Fine Wine
141 Pitman Street, Providence, RI
401-372-2030
info@bottlesfinewine.com

Meet the Sons of Liberty Spirits Co. – A Rhode Island Distillery

Uprising - Sons of Liberty Distillery in RI

Get a backstage tour of the Sons of Liberty Spirits Co.,  Rhode Island’s second newest distillery since the 1800s. Mike Reppucci, Sons of Liberty owner/distiller, showed our store manager around the distillery. Learn how they make their great single malt American whiskey, Uprising, and welcome in their seasonal winter release, a Pumpkin Spice Flavored Whiskey that uses local Rhody pumpkins. A winner of the World’s Best Whiskies!

Visit us to shop local, and for a full selection of Sons of Liberty spirits: Uprising Whiskey, Pumpkin Whiskey, Loyal 9 Vodkas, and more.

Cheers!

Sons of Liberty Whiskey Distillery Sons of Liberty distillery - Rhode Island

Thomas Tew Rum – Drink Rhody Rum!

Thomas Tew Rum - Rhode Island Rum Distillery

Thomas Tew Rum is made by the Newport Distilling Company in nearby Newport, Rhode Island. Watch the tour and overview of how their barrel-aged rum is made, with Brent Ryan, master distiller. Brent was kind enough to give us the behind-the-scenes tour of the distillery. Watch, sip, and enjoy!

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Thomas Tew Rum - Distillery Tour Newport Distilling Company