Our first stop in the tours of Michigan Distilleries had started back in June with a great stop at Journeyman's Distillery. Soon, though, the travel bug was upon me again. I wanted to explore more.
So, on to the 2013 Michigan exploration... New Holland Brewing & Distillery. We started our trip on Friday, July 26. With the Sky, I usually take a more leisurely pace, sight-see and drive top down at highway speeds (50-60 mph) as opposed to superhighway speeds (65-70). As usual the drive up the shore of Lake Michigan was great. We hit a few very light showers but all in all, the trip was great. Oh and yes, it's true, at 60 mph and in the rain - you don't get wet in a convertible.
Because we wanted a distillery tour/visit, we did not stop at their Brew Pub, only their production facility. With a few emails we had determined that we most likely would miss their planned tour, but I really just wanted a visit, a first hand experience and a talk with those in the know about their story (It's all about the story to me).
We found the place easily (Garmin GPS -- thank you!) and went inside, meeting Jill. She explained the tour had left and that the remainders were booked. She offered to squeeze us in - but we still had a drive ahead so I turned down her gracious offer. As a favor, she showed us the Distillation process and we had a great impromptu tasting in the distillation room.
As I normally do - I snapped a few shots of the still and the area for background and gathered up information into the process and the mission of New Holland B&D.
Their Rums are Freshwater Huron White, Freshwater Michigan Amber and Freshwater Superior, single barrel. I tasted all three and have to say the Amber was my favorite. The White (remember a full tasting will be posted to the website Rum Ratings.com) is very nice a delicate flavor and same with the sweetness. A great mixer for cocktails. The Amber starts to pick up some complexity and I have to say a light, yet full flavored rum. The aftertaste tends to sweeten between sips. This can be mixed or drunk with ice easily and I'd do it quite happily. Finally the Single Barrel. This spirit has picked up some barrel flavors. Not heavily wooded in flavor but with a first sip tang that is very pleasant to the palette. When you pop this one open I'd recommend a rounded glass so you can get the nose and a cold rock to chill it. This would be a porch sipper, yet it can stand up to a mix of your choice, once you try it neat to discover the possibilities. I can see it making my homemade Horchata into an unforgettable Rum-Chata.
All in all, I would recommend the trip. If you are in western Michigan, or plan to be in the Holland area, please do yourself a favor. As I said I only visited the production center. I did not taste any of their beers (many looked and sounded great). I did not visit their Pub. From what I saw, and those I met, the New Holland Brewery & Distillery should be on your "Must Visit" list.
We will be back with our next installment on Friday...... Don't miss it. Click on the Subscribe to Rick The Rum Runner on the left column just below our Distillery Directory.... You won't miss a post!
Till then I am: