It's hard enough in the business world to get your name and product(s) out there. What struck us is that Barrel House is pretty well known here. Even prominently listed in our hotel guide for Thing To Do.
Located in the barrel house of a past distillery, BHD boasts a large Event hall for catered events just a few blocks down the street from its decidedly cool distillery, railroad industrial location. Just knowing various alcoholic spirits have been distilled here since the early 19th century, makes it unique personality even warmer and friendlier.
We were met by Noah, who took us on a tour of the distillation process, explaining the steps in the different liquors they make (They have Pure Blue Vodka, a nice Bourbon as well as some Devil John Moonshine last and not least Oak Rum) noting the use of local ingredients where possible and the drive to experiment and improve each batch. I found many of their experiments and trials fascinating, noting a trial of sorghum based rum spirit. Those who read this blog know I happily tasted and thoroughly enjoyed Mississippi River Distilling Co's "Sorghrum" so I am looking forward to news of that product perhaps later this year or early next.
Sampling the spirits was a joy. I find BHD products robust, to say the least. There is no shortage of flavor. The Pure Blue Vodka was good, clean but with a front taste as well as an after taste that let me smacking my lips. The Devil John 'Shine was also full of flavor. Rather than using fermented corn mash they distill with their grind and get a great corn taste that is very smooth. For me, of course the Oak Rum was greatly anticipated. It did not disappoint. There is a bit of caramel upfront, a real smoothness - I think from the bourbon used barrels, and a delightful sweet after taste that lingers and I find both comforting and warming.
This is a sipping rum but I think it would be a wonderful addition to Horchata and even an eggnog, the sweetness of these being accented by the smokey rum.
Don't let me limit the drinks though - be open and I guarantee you won't be disappointed either!
We met the partners Pete and Jeff, they were two men obviously loving the journey they've chosen. They even suggested a nearby restaurant for our dinner and were willing to answer questions and chat even though they had a running still and an even planned for just a bit later that evening. Thank you Guys and Ramsey's was very good. I went Country Fried Pork Chops -- YES....
I have to admit, a bit worn after 6 hours of driving -- but time well worth spending. Now, a soak in the hot tub, early to bed and off to the next stop -- Stay tuned!