Saint Lawrence Spirits Fills Their 300th Barrel
February 2, 2018 - Over the last 16 months, Saint Lawrence Spirits Distillers, Bill Garrett & Ben VanTassel, have filled 300 Barrels and they have met some very interesting characters along the way! Distilling is by no means a boring occupation and Bill and Ben have encountered some barrels with personalities of their own that keep them on their toes during their daily routine.
“Rorschach” by Bill Garrett, Head Distiller
“If you look around our distillery and barrel storages, you’ll notice each barrel has our logo beautifully burned onto the heads. The truth is, not all the logos are burned. One of our barrel orders had come in without any logos. Our barrel supplier, in exchange, sent us custom stencils, the roller to do the job and special ink specifically designed to be used on whiskey/bourbon barrels. Having never used this ink before I decided to use a very small amount to test it out. The guinea pig was a small 5-gallon barrel prototype, containing our barrel aged Sazerac, a mixture of our award winning rye whiskey and rouge absinthe. I rolled the ink over the stencil and as I removed it, I realized that I was looking at something that much more resembled an ink blot test rather than our signature anchor logo. Almost as quickly we began referring to the barrel as “Rorschach,” and we proudly display it at our Downtown Tasting Room in Clayton, NY and serve samples to our customers.”
“Harvey Dent” by Ben VanTassel, Distiller
“We are constantly working with two products at a time, one that we are cooking and one we are distilling. In the confusion of a busy day, I ended up switching the two products of the day internally and made the serious mistake of blending two totally different products together in the same barrel, essentially making it as “two faced” as fictional super-villain Harvey Dent. After running the numbers and determining the percentages of the blend, we mixed up a sample and we were pleasantly surprised! The blend offers a unique flavor profile and kept the smooth finish we’re striving for. What began as an honest mistake has now been maturing and sparked an interest in a future “limited release” product, which now has two more barrels blended to match.”
“Rickety Cricket” by Bill
“As is common practice in the industry of distilled spirits, you often times “hydrate” your barrels before filling them with your precious liquid. Filling the barrels with hot water first ensures the wood has swollen and all the seems are tight. It is much better to discover a barrel leak with water, rather than the very precious alternative. If barrels sit too long, they can dry out and allow liquid to pass between the staves. The barrel that has been dubbed “Rickety Cricket” had been loaned to the Thousand Islands Museum as part of their Festival of Trees Display. Upon the barrels return we immediately noticed the barrel staves had parted company with the hoops and there was a distinct rattling sound whenever we attempted to move the barrel. Our attempts to fill the barrel with hot water were in vain. The water was exiting the barrel from all sides as fast as it was going in. We decided to take some drastic measures and gave Rickety Cricket the proverbial spa treatment. Wrapped and cocooned in hot wet towels, it began to regain its former glory. After about a week, the barrel was full of water and the outside was dry. Only then did we trust it to hold Saint Lawrence Spirits inside, and it has remained loyal to us ever since!”
“Newton” by Ben
“Sir Isaac Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation was further proven by our “Newton” barrel. In the interest of saving space inside the distillery for more immediate production needs, our empty barrels are stored off-site until we are ready to fill them. One day during transportation, a rebellious barrel decided to exit the truck bed. Rather than floating freely through the air, gravity and inertia took over, slamming the barrel to the pavement and taking a violent tumble into a nearby field. Although the leaks created from the fall seemed pretty serious after numerous hot cloth compresses, the barrel regained its ability to hold liquids, with it's righteous name in tow.”
We eagerly introduce “Leonidas” Barrel 300 to the mix! In the movie 300, King Leonidas leads 300 spartans into battle against the Persian “god-King” Xerxes and his invading army of more than 300,000 soldiers. “Leonidas” sits bravely on the top of the rack overseeing daily distillery operations and his fellow barrels!
Cheers to 300!
Saint Lawrence Spirits Whiskey Release
October 27, 2017 - The Fall in Upstate New York is often referred to as “Harvest Season,” farmers are harvesting corn, wineries are harvesting grapes, apples are being picked for pies, and pumpkins are being carved for Halloween. At Saint Lawrence Spirits they have harvested their very first barrels of Whiskey & Bourbon!
Saint Lawrence Spirits began distilling in August 2016. The Distillery overlooks the Majestic St. Lawrence River, but the view isn’t the only thing the River provides. Saint Lawrence Spirits Distillery is river dependent for their water source. They are the first distillery to use the St. Lawrence River to proof down their spirits using a shore well through the filtration process of reverse osmosis, providing The Spirit of The River in Every Bottle®.
In October 2016, Saint Lawrence Spirits filled their first Barrel. With the anticipation, Saint Lawrence Spirits decided to fill five gallon barrels to taste the aging progression of their whiskeys and bourbons, while their 30 & 50 gallon barrels aged. In July 2017, Saint Lawrence Spirits submitted five products to North American Bourbon & Whiskey Competition and received Five Silver Medals!
Now, one year later, Saint Lawrence Spirits has harvested it’s first barreled products. Produced with 100% New York State Grains. Corn Harvested from their family ranch, Lucky Star Ranch (Chaumont, NY), Rye & Wheat Harvested from Sackets Harbor, NY and remaining grains sourced from Batavia, NY. Saint Lawrence Spirits has developed their own milling facility at Lucky Star Ranch for a just in time grain management system, providing the freshest ingredients in their products. Saint Lawrence Spirits is excited to release it’s four new whiskeys & bourbon! Available for purchase October 20, 2017.
Captain’s Flask Bourbon Whiskey - made with Corn, Wheat & Malted Barley
Rye Knot Rye Whiskey - made with 100% Rye (Rye & Malted Rye)
Ryesing Tide Whiskey - made with Corn, Rye & Malted Barley
Wheelhouse Whiskey - made with Corn & Malted Rye
Saint Lawrence Spirits also produces Vodka, Gins, Moonshines & Absinthe.