Friday, October 5, 2012

Albany Distilling Company

I blew off some work today and headed down to the opening of the Albany Distilling Company. I'm glad I did. I liked everything about the place. I got there just before 11 and there was a pretty good turn out waiting for the opening ceremony to begin. Actually, in what is becoming an opening event tradition, I walked into the building with Steve Barnes, my BFF from the Shoprite pre-opening. They didn't waste any time and the ceremony started right at 11. Jerry Jennings talked and Neil Breslin both talked but I thought the best speeches (other than the brief words by owners Matt and John) were from the people that had gotten to see the business grow first hand. I didn't take any notes so I don't remember any names. Their banker had some very kind words and the person representing the small business assistance organization that helped them was also clearly impressed by the drive of our hometown distillers.

Jerry Jennings was introduced first.

Here's everyone else that spoke waiting their turn. Neil Breslin is back there. I didn't catch everybody's name. The other gentleman is from the small business organization. Between him and Breslin is the the bank representative. Truth be told, I was more interested in purchasing some New Make whiskey than being a reporter.

Here are Matt and John welcoming everyone to the distillery.

And then the ribbon cutting.

I was surprised to see the Valley Cats being represented there too. If you stuck around long enough, you got to see the man behind the mask. Relax, I didn't take any pictures. Your secret is safe with me.

The space was pretty much just open to the public. Here is the distilling equipment.

Some barrels aging whiskey to be sold at a later date.

and some bottling equipment. That machine on the bottom rack puts on the labels, one bottle at a time.

While I was waiting to introduce myself to Daniel B of the FussyLittleBlog (if you watch the YNN coverage of the event you can see him kind of blurred in the background), I stood back and watched a mini media circus. Everyone was getting shots of drinks being poured, bottle being sold, interviews with the owners, and shots of just the reporter talking. One woman was actually the reporter and the camera-woman. All the reporters seemed to have a ritual before the got filmed, kind of like a batter getting into the batters box. Look down, fluff hair, shuffle feet, another hair flip, look left, on me in 3,2,1...

After a very nice conversation with Daniel B. (who kindly offered me the rocks glass that came with his bottle)  I got in line to taste the whiskey and buy a bottle. I liked what I tasted. I think my brother Mike is going to love it. The Cool Yard New Make whiskey will also clearly mix well. I'm really looking forward to tasting what comes out of the barrels. I am very tempted to get my own oak barrel and age a liter myself. I think it would be interesting to taste some white whiskey, aged at home whiskey and the Albany Distilling Company's aged whiskey side by side.

My favorite part of the bottle is the labeling of how long the whiskey stayed in oak barrels. Apparently it has to spend some time in a barrel to be sold as whiskey though there is no specification on how much time. This batch spent minutes. 

I had a very nice time at the opening. Met some very nice people - the group from the Hudson River Coffee House were very friendly and meeting them made me want to go to the coffee house. Which is saying something because I don't drink much coffee. I also spoke with Matt and John. They are very friendly and I encourage you to visit them for a tour. I'd like to go back on a calmer day to learn more about the equipment. Now that I'm thinking about it, I should have bought my brother a bottle. Looks like I've got to go back...

Albany Distilling Company
78 Montgomery Street
Albany, NY 12207
(Next Door to the Pump Station)

No comments:

Post a Comment