Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Reader Poll: Resurrect a Distillery


With this poll, it's your turn to play re-animator and resurrect a dead distillery, but you only get one.  This will involve your magical powers, so you are free to resurrect a distillery that has been completely torn down, and you can assume that the quality and style of whiskey will match that at the time it ceased production.

So what will it be?  I'd have to think that the big three here will be Port Ellen, Brora and Stitzel-Weller, but I'd guess we'll see seom votes for Rosebank, St. Magdelene, Pennco/Michter's and who knows what else, maybe even Malt Mill.

So wave your magic wand and tell me in the comments which distillery you are bringing back to life.


32 comments:

Jordan Devereaux said...

I'll throw out a wild card and say Millburn. I really love the savory quality of their whisky.

Dan said...

That didn't work out so well for Herbert West, did it?

But if you're going to force me to chose, I'd say Clynelish I (Brora, by any other name).

Anonymous said...

Ben Wyvis comes to mind. the older Signatory Vintage bottlings rate nicely.

Also, Ferintosh, from Burns' era.

My Annoying Opinions said...

The question though is whether the resurrected distillery would continue as it had before closing (i.e. producing not particularly long-aged blend fodder as many of them did) or whether they would be allowed to mature and produce the accidental whiskies we've come to associate with them and which make us want to bring them back to life.

But I'll say Lochside--only because I didn't get to drink very much of it before the surviving stock all but disappeared from the market.

Josh Feldman said...

I'm going to pick one of the trio of vanished riverside distilleries in the South of Frankfort, Kentucky: Daniel Boone, Hermitage, and Pepper. You can see them here as items A, B, and C on this 1871 map in the Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/item/73693413

The Daniel Boone distillery's last juice is reputed to be the magic ingredient in the early batches of Julian Van Winkle III's Van Winkle Family Reserve - vatted in to temper the oak bomb of the Stitzel-Weller Old Fitz juice that's the primary ingredient.

Hermitage was the location where Old Crow Bourbon and rye (as well as Old Hermitage Bourbon and rye) was distilled from the 1860s (after Crow's death).

Pepper distillery was the 19th century production site of Old Pepper.

Since I must choose only one I'll take the Old Hermitage - the biggest of the 3 and the one that did both Bourbon and rye. I've never tasted Pre-Prohibition Old Crow Bourbon or rye - but very much want to. Please keep me in mind if you come across any...

sku said...

My Annoying Opinions, let me guess, you're the guy at the Sci-Fi movie saying, "Well, that really wouldn't be possible based on the current thinking about quantum mechanics."



Florin said...

Second Lochside. I really loved a G&M bottle that was out until recently.

Josh Feldman said...

I, too, am intrigued by Lochside.

I have a pair of Lochsides I'm going to crack this summer: a 1964 single barrel blend (half grain and half malt from Lochside - as they made both at the time- vatted into a single barrel and allowed to mature together). The 1964 was bottled in 2011 at 42.1% abv at 46 years old. http://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/P-14514.aspx

I also have one of those G&M Connoisseur's Choice 1991 20yo bottles: http://www.gordonandmacphail.com/connoisseurs-choice/connoisseurs-choice-lochside-distilled-1991-strength-43-67.html

I haven't tasted either yet.

Josh Feldman said...

Isn't anyone going to pick Northport/Brechin?

Anonymous said...

I vote for Port Ellen, Brora and Stitzel-Weller.

My Annoying Opinions said...

Yes, I am Mr. Plausible. I wish to know the exact circumstances in which an impossible hypothetical might operate.

Anonymous said...

As long as we're waving a magic wand and resurrecting the dead, I vote for Bowmore. The Bowmore that died in the mid-seventies and appears to be back in some sort of zombie form starting around '89 but I want '60s Bowmore to come fully back to life. Please.

Chris said...

Karuizawa, Littlemill, or Lochside. I'm a little surprised (and pleased) to see Lochside getting so much love.

sku said...

Chris, good call on Karuizawa. I totally neglected the Japanese distilleries in my list above. Both Karuizawa and Hanyu would be great to have back.

Tom said...

I'd go with Monumental Distillery, and bring Pikesville Rye (among others) back to Maryland. And with the money I'd make off hipsters and old-timers, I might be able to afford some of that Brora and old Bowmore you all will be putting down.

Bear Toe said...

But if you bring one of them back all of my investments will lose their value!!!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely the distillery George Washington ran on his farm. Slap the Father of The Nation's face on a bottle of white dog and call it "authentic, liberty style patriot rye". $5000 please.

Mark said...

Haven't had much from any shuttered distilleries, beyond a couple sips of a Port Ellen a little over a year ago that was very good, but not mind blowing...I guess, based on the VVOF OMFG the LAWS did recently I'll have to go with S-W.

sam k said...

Only one option for me: the Samuel Dillinger distillery in my hometown of Ruffs Dale, PA. Still standing after a post-Prohibition rebuild, Dillinger (pronounced with a hard G: Dilling-grr) was the only distillery in the country to install and operate two massive (4023 and 3784 gallons) pot stills after repeal.

This was in addition to a complete column distilling operation in the same plant. Those pots were even direct coal-fired! I'm not sure what kind of whiskey they distilled in them, but this was always a rye distillery for the most part.

Sure would like to taste whatever it was that came out of those condensers!

Anonymous said...

I would vote for A. Guckenheimer & Bros. Distillery in Freeport, Pennsylvania. It is one of the famous Monongahela rye distilleries.

chazjaz said...

Yep, I am just another Stitzel-Weller enthusiast and hope Pappy can be included to head up the operation.

Lazer said...

Mitchers/pennco/a.h.hirsch

sam k said...

Visited it a number of times while it was still in business, Lazer. An awesome place that will never be duplicated. I miss it, too.

Sipp'n Corn said...

The Old Oscar Pepper Distillery with Dr. Crow as the distiller -- out of pure curiosity.

Anonymous said...

Pennco Distillery

Anonymous said...

I'd love to bring back something that existed back in the time of the Whiskey Rebellion. To get the feeling of stepping back in time to what was produced using the old grain varieties and old world methods would be wonderful.

tanstaafl2 said...

Among many others I would like to see one or more of the old Dublin distilleries come back to life. Perhaps the old John's Lane distillery that produced Power whiskey until the mid 1960's.

Archaeology Carl said...

Old Taylor Distillery at Millville.

Anonymous said...

Is this cheating? Apparently my great grandfather (and HIS father) created an amazing moonshine in the Appalachians in Vermont in the 1900s/1940s. My great grandmother took a sledgehammer to it one day in a fit of rage over my granddad's drinking. A friend of his tried to rebuild it but many said it was never the same. How amazing would it be for me to be able to taste that juice just one time?

Funky Tape said...

Old Overholt with Nookie Thompson at the helm. ;)

But seriously, gotta be S-W if for only the enjoyment to watch all the ridiculous marketing kooks at Diageo scramble for new spin on their pretend products.

fussychicken said...

I'm late to the game here, but would love some Broadford Distillery Old Overholt.

And as a dark horse candidate that might could still be saved, bring back Owensboro Medley!

VT Mike said...

Ben Wyvis lives on in a sense. The owners of Springbank bought the stills and used them when they resurrected the old Glengyle distillery. They did modify the stills a bit, I think mainly changing the lyne arm angle. I would think the details of the production process are quite different too.