At the beginning of the 20th century New York City was home to hundreds of legal breweries and distilleries. But 20 years later Prohibition put an abrupt end to the craft of brewing and distilling in the city. NYC remained distillery free until 2010 when crafts spirits maker Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn became the first licensed distillery in the city in 90 years.
Now that Kings County has a little age on it so do some of its barrels and the distillery is slowly but methodically dumping some of those barrels. The distillery has announced the first in a series of rare single barrel whiskeys, to coincide with its 10th year birthday celebrations.
The first of these will be Kings County Distillery’s 7-Year Single Barrel Bourbon, which is one of the oldest age-statement bourbons distilled outside of Kentucky’s Bourbon triangle and one of the oldest age-stated copper pot-distilled bourbons. Distilled in July 2013 this particular bourbon went into a 53 gallon barrel at 116 proof. After seven years the angel’s claimed 34% of what went into the barrel as it aged on the second floor of the greenhouse-like aging room in the 121-year-old Paymaster Building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. What came out for this single barrel offering was bottled at 107 proof.
“Less than a handful of legitimate distillers outside of Kentucky have released an age stated whiskey of 7+ years,” said Kings County Distillery distiller and co-founder Colin Spoelman. “This coincides with a watershed moment for craft distillers. We’ve always known our whiskey compared well to whiskey in its peer age group, but we never had whiskey aged comparably to some of the best American whiskey until now.
“While we are still holding barrels for even longer aged whiskeys, we feel these older barrels mark another stage of maturity in our evolution as one of the most determined, creative, and uncompromising distillers in the country.”
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Tasting notes from Spoelman say this release is barrel forward, full of dry spice and the most traditional-flavored bourbon from Kings County. This limited release is bottled in their traditional clear flask like bottle with silver foil on the label and placed in a handmade wooden box made in Brooklyn just like the whiskey.
Kings County Distillery 7-Year Single Barrel Bourbon netted out 189 bottles and has a suggested retail price of $149 per 750ml bottle. It goes on sale at the distillery on October 14th at noon through the distillery’s website. As a distillery exclusive, this will ship to NY state only.
This single barrel release marks the first of several upcoming releases of older and exceptional single barrel releases from Kings County. Future releases will be available in New York as well as roughly 40 states online and through distributors in 22 states and 7 countries.
The distillery has reopened its tasting room, the Gatehouses, for outdoor consumption and tasting, and in place of tours is organizing live, distanced education events.