Thanks to Sixpoint Craft Ales, Kelso and, of course, Brooklyn Brewery, we know that the borough can produce some top-tier beer. And the new Red Hook Winery has extended Brooklyn's cred to grape-based libations as well.
Now, Colin Spoelman and David Haskell are trying to put Brooklyn on the hard-spirits map. Spoelman, who works at an architecture firm, and Haskell, a New York magazine editor, have teamed up to launch Kings County Distillery, the city's first distillery since Prohibition (though more are on the way).
Booze is in both of their blood: Haskell's great-grandfather was a bootlegger and, in a nod to Spoelman's Kentucky roots, the distillery's first product will be unaged whiskey. Although this 80-proof version is far smoother than traditional white lightning, brown spirit lovers can look forward to Kings County's small-batch bourbon and more mellow, barrel-aged whiskey.
"We wanted to make something that is honest and celebrates location," says Haskell. To that end, the partners are sourcing with local grain distributors, aging whiskey in recycled barrels and bottling the liquor in elegant flasks adorned with typewritten labels.
Look for KCD's first bottles to appear this spring.
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