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  1. #1

    The next Craft Distillery to hang with the big boys?...

    I'll start by saying I'm not a huge fan of craft whiskey - mostly, because they either source their stuff from someone else, or because they don't have a ton of consistency in their product, or because nothing seems to make it past 2-4 years (or to even be aged at all) because they don't have the capital to put out long-aged stock.

    That said, are you guys seeing a few craft distilleries with the potential to become a major distillery in the next decade or so?

    I've seen some interesting things from Anchor, Willett (now that they are making their own), Old Potrero, FEW, and some others, but I'm not privy enough to have any clue if any of these (or others) have a shot at mass production and becoming one of the next big distilleries, capable of producing a ton of quality stock, with consistency and aged in the 8-12 year range?

  2. #2
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    Re: The next Craft Distillery to hang with the big boys?...

    Well, I'd retitle your thread, The FIRST Craft Distillery To Hang With the Big Boys?...

    I think they all have a long, long, looooong way to go. At least with bourbon offerings, at least. Decades, even. "Interesting" is possible more quickly, but that's as far as I go.

    That said, I have my eye on a couple: Willett, Smooth Ambler, Tate and Co., and Tom's Foolery all are on my radar. But, that's about it. I would have included Balcones here at one time, but the loss of their MD and questionable goings on there don't give me much confidence anymore. Personally, I think Willett will be first to hit me with something that I really enjoy, as I did like their own 2yr rye. They seem more poised to produce in the numbers that it will take for consistency.
    JOE

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  3. #3
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    Re: The next Craft Distillery to hang with the big boys?...

    What distinguished early distillers like the Dants, Beams and Overholts is not just that they made good whisky, but that they made it consistently.

    Most anyone can learn to distill in the same sense most can learn to brew beer or make bread. As for the new crop of distillers Joe is correct, it will be a very long time before we can confidently say any of them are getting it right.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  4. #4
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    Re: The next Craft Distillery to hang with the big boys?...

    I would add High West to the list. They are mostly selling sourced whiskey now but they have been distilling for a long time so they've got to have a lot aging. Plus they just built a new distillery with expanded capacity.

  5. #5
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    Re: The next Craft Distillery to hang with the big boys?...

    Our local distillery Valentine has outgrown their first location and is working on a new, bigger production facility already. They have some pics on their Facebook page. I obviously wouldn't call them hanging with the big boys yet but it's nice to see them growing.

    They started out with Gin and Vodka while their bourbon was aging ib big barrels to 4+ years and I really enjoyed the 2 bottles I have had. At $40 it isn't something I like to buy often but I do enjoy it when I have a bottle. This reminds me, I saw one of their older style bottles at a shop I need to go back and see if it is still there.

  6. #6
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    Re: The next Craft Distillery to hang with the big boys?...

    I'm not convinced that becoming a major distiller is even possible with the current economic realities.

    But I think there is a place for the smaller guys to be successful on their own terms and produce a product that people like at a fair price and occupy a unique niche in the market. Stranahans comes to mind. Willet 2 year rye was mighty fine though and they might sneak up on us.
    Last edited by ramblinman; 08-25-2015 at 08:53.

  7. #7

    Re: The next Craft Distillery to hang with the big boys?...

    Quote Originally Posted by squire View Post
    What distinguished early distillers like the Dants, Beams and Overholts is not just that they made good whisky, but that they made it consistently.

    Most anyone can learn to distill in the same sense most can learn to brew beer or make bread. As for the new crop of distillers Joe is correct, it will be a very long time before we can confidently say any of them are getting it right.
    What if one of these guys goes out and gets a major MD or foreman from one of these historic families?

  8. #8

    Re: The next Craft Distillery to hang with the big boys?...

    I would agree with Willett btw. I really like their 2 yr, and hopefully, maybe, once they start only putting out their own stuff in abother 10 years, then maybe they'll be less secretive about what's actually going in their stuff.

    Would Makers Mark be considered the first "new" company to break in w the big boys?

  9. #9
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    Re: The next Craft Distillery to hang with the big boys?...

    Don't forget Michter's. They ran the first distillation yesterday. Beautiful distillery.

  10. #10
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    Re: The next Craft Distillery to hang with the big boys?...

    Quote Originally Posted by ReynoldsStrong View Post
    What if one of these guys goes out and gets a major MD or foreman from one of these historic families?
    The Popcorn Sutton group just hired Master Distiller John Lunn away from the Geo. Dickel distillery.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

 

 

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