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3 ways you can become your own distiller

SPONSORED — Cocktails aren’t the only craft when it comes to liquor.

There’s an art to the distilling process, too, one that is more accessible than ever before. One of the best ways to enhance your enjoyment of spirits is not just understanding how they’re made, but getting involved yourself.

And to that end Heritage Distilling Co. has a number of programs that not only educate and inform you about the distilling process, but give you a chance to get involved. It’s really incredible.

What does it mean to barrel-age whiskey? Well, Heritage Distilling Co. will not only explain it, but show you how it’s done and then allow you to actually do it either in your own home or in one of their facilities. Seriously. You can make your own, individually crafted liquor, have it bottled and then labeled personally without having to build your own distillery.

In many ways this is the golden age of spirits with more and more boutique distilleries and an emphasis upon small-batch products. It’s even got its own vocabulary with words like “boutique” and “small batch.” Well, Heritage Distilling Co. does more than explain the process to its customers, but to show them what that means.

You can start with something as simple and as informative as a tour and go all the way up to aging your own whiskey in your own 10-liter cask that will be aged to the desired strength and bottled with your own personalized label.

Here are some options:

Small group tours
Heritage Distilling Co. Flagship
3118 Harborview Drive
Gig Harbor, WA

Tours of the flagship distillery are available on Saturdays on the hour starting at 1 p.m. with the final tour of the day beginning at 4 p.m. You can also arrange for tours during the week by request or appointment. You get to look at Nonna, the Italian-made still made specifically for Heritage Distilling Co., the first Italian-made still to be imported to the United State after it was shipped through the Panama Canal. You’ll see how the liquor is made from the bags of grain to the bottling line.

My Batch Class
The tour is just the start here. You also get snacks, a tasting session and walk away with everything you need to create your very own barrel-aged spirits. This three-hour experience will enhance anyone’s understanding and appreciation of spirits, and it is the perfect gift for a whiskey lover.

Start with the distillery tour, then move onto the hors d’oeuvres where you’ll pick out your own flight of four half-ounce samples of Heritage Distilling’s award-winning products. You’ll leave with two bottles of unaged spirits and a barrel you can use to age them in.

More information and registration is available here.

The Cask Club
While My Batch is a class, Cask Club is an annual club in which you can help create one of a kind spirits in your own private cask, customized to your own flavor profile, age and strength. And once you decide it’s done, that spirit will be bottled with your own personal label, which you can give as a gift, display in your home bar or just drink. It’s truly the next level, allowing you to become part of Heritage Distilling Co.

Your Cask Club membership gets you a 10-liter cask made of Spanish Oak, which will be displayed in one of Heritage Distilling Co.’s five tasting rooms with a plaque engraved with your name and city.

Choose your spirit: vodka, gin, whiskey or single malt. You can start with an entirely unaged product or a pre-aged spirit that you’ll then customize. As your spirit ages, you can flavor it with ingredients like vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, sweet or bitter orange peel, spices or even fresh fruit. The options are virtually limitless to make this spirit your own.

You can sample it during the aging process, deciding when it reaches the flavor and potency that you prefer, and choose and have it bottled (750 ml or 375 ml) with your own customized label. Your cask should result in 10 to 12 750 ml bottles (depending on how much is sampled during the aging process).

The average aging time is six to 12 months, and you decide your spirit is ready to bottle, you have the option of buying your cask at a discounted price or – better yet – start aging a new batch.

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