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Combining our love of the mountains and our love of good whiskey made perfect sense when setting out to create spirits of our own. A few distillery tours almost two years ago had us saying, “Hey, we could do this.” Maybe it was the bourbon talking, but it sounded like a good idea at the time, and we ran with it. Upstate New York has a rich agricultural heritage, so it was only fitting to bring a farm-to-bottle operation to Keene.
We strive for quality, working to make smooth, classic spirits that can be sipped straight—but that are just as good in your favorite mixed libation with a dash of this and a garnish of that. We source locally, we mash locally, and we distill locally. It takes some time and elbow grease to build a distillery, and even more time to craft and age whiskies and brandies that are worthy of a dram or two (or ten.) We’ve committed to the long haul though, and we’re proud to literally start from the ground up. Our water flows straight from a spring within a few paces of our front door, our corn is grown by Adirondack Organic Grains in nearby Essex, and our brandy apples are grown, picked, and pressed fresh by Rulf’s Orchard, less than thirty-five miles down the road in Peru. Our barrels are made to order from U.S. Barrel, the oldest cooperage in the northeast and, luckily for us, only a couple of towns over in Wilmington. We’re a New York state farm distillery; we’re homegrown and our products are too.
The Adirondack Park, home to Keene and Gristmill Distillers, is six million acres of protected land, designated Forever Wild by the New York State Constitution in 1894. For over a century, these mountains have been a haven for hikers, climbers, cyclists, fishermen, and skiers. Join us in raising a glass to them, preferably in front of a freshly stoked fire, weather-worn and trading stories about the day’s feats. To another hundred years of adventures.
If you live near the mountains, live off the hills, and if you live near the water, make your living there.