Caledonia Spirits Distillery at Barr Hill - Vodka Made from 100% Vermont Maple Syrup

For many craft spirits makers, their spirits are all about, “local.” Starting a local business, creating local jobs, supporting local farmers, producing local distilled spirits, serving local fans in their favorite watering hole with dreams of one-day sharing their spirits with the world. It’s about a sense of place and a connection to the land. In the case of Caledonia Spirits at Barr Hill, they call this approach, “Landcrafted in the heart of Vermont.”

Honey Bees Used to Make Vodka and Gin
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Caledonia Spirits has been crafting local gin and vodka since 2011. Unlike the often made mistake that Vodka is crafted from potatoes, that couldn’t be further from the truth at Barr Hill. In fact, all of their spirits thus far have been made using locally harvested raw honey. Now, Caledonia Spirits President and Head Distiller Ryan Christiansen has turned to another locally produced favorite known the world round, Vermont maple syrup.

Experiments in Agricultural Rectification (E.A.R.) Project

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Caledonia Spirits is launching Experiments in Agricultural Rectification, a new small batch spirits project with a mission to capture the provenance of Vermont’s agricultural and forage crops. E.A.R. was born from a mission to support the local agricultural opportunities of the area.

“Distillation begins with agriculture; our still is merely a tool of crop preservation. This project allows us, as distillers and farmers, to push on boundaries, and uncover value in the land,” says Christiansen. “The distillery strives to celebrate the variety and character of ingredients available locally from the farmers, sugar makers, and foragers that work the land throughout the seasons. The project allows the growing craft distillery to further support their local agriculture while bringing exciting and unique spirits to market.”

A Collaboration with Farnham Farm Maple

Batch 001: Vodka is distilled from 100% Vermont maple syrup. Christiansen worked with Kevin Farnham of Farnham Farm Maple to tap 2,000 maple trees on his property in Plainfield, Vermont. The Farnham’s then boiled the sap to syrup before it was brought to Caledonia Spirits for fermentation and distillation.

“This product is the result of local collaboration. Working with Kevin and team has allowed us to access sugar sources from our literal backyard, while the partnership allows Kevin to earn a return on his work that is more rewarding than the competitive bulk syrup market,” said Christiansen.

The company says the 80 proof Vodka is maple on the nose, clean and crisp, traditional in flavor, and finishes with a soft and delicate maple sweetness. This initial distillation produced just shy of 1,600 bottles. The first release of Experiments in Agricultural Rectification Vodka will be available at the Caledonia Spirits Distillery in Hardwick, events they attend throughout Vermont and the Made in Vermont Marketplace in Essex.

Caledonia Spirit Distillery’s Experiments in Agricultural Rectification Vodka, Batch 001

Caledonia Spirits Distillery - Vodka Made from 100% Vermont Maple Syrup, Plainfield Maple Grove
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