Before “white whiskey,” there was moonshine, otherwise known as whiskey before it is aged in a barrel—though the word can also mean any illegally-made spirit. Ours is a corn whiskey made from 80% New York State organic corn and 20% malted barley. It is double distilled and reduced to a smooth, drinkable 80 proof. Bright with a sweet slap of corn, this is our take on a classic American whiskey.
ADI Craft Spirit Awards: Best in Category 2011, gold medal 2014 (packaging), silver medal 2013, 2017; bronze medal 2012, 2016. ACSA: bronze medal 2015, 2016.
“Absolutely spot on corn whiskey; sweet, clean, berry-fruit, very well made and does exactly what it says on the tin (92=brilliant).” – Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2013 & rescored (no change) 2017
Kings County Distillery’s Straight Bourbon is made from New York State organic corn and malted barley from the U.K., is twice distilled in copper pot stills and then aged in new charred oak barrels. It is characterized by a rich aroma of fresh corn, balanced with the sweet caramelized oak sap from small barrels. It has a very strong sweet base with flavors of vanilla and caramel, a deep molasses taste to the middle notes, and leaves a smooth finish with hints of cinnamon and autumn spices. Aged for at least two years, this bourbon is a precocious whiskey, surprisingly robust for its age.
San Francisco World Spirits Competition: Gold 2017. ADI Craft Spirit Awards: silver medal 2013 and 2014 (Best in Category), bronze medal 2012, 2017. ACSA Awards: silver medals (2) 2014, 2016, bronze 2017.
“Crisp Demerara sugar; sumptuous texture, aided by melt-in-the-mouth natural caramels; an excellent outpouring of citrus-tinged vanilla; for a year-old bourbon the sugars have accumulated charmingly (89=excellent).” – Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2013 “Exotic and deep, with flavors of grain, licorice, vanilla and molasses.” (#2 Craft Bourbon, 3-Stars) — Eric Asimov, New York Times 2014. “Top Ten Bourbons” —Time Out New York, 2014
Kings County’s Chocolate Whiskey infuses our Moonshine with ground cacao bean husks from Mast Brothers Chocolate, whose factory is nearby. Bitter and surprising, this rich whiskey tastes like dark chocolate and works great in cocktails or on its own as an after-dinner drink.
“Six Flavored Whiskeys to Try” Whiskey Advocate 2017. “Exceptional…exquisite…I didn’t know I needed a chocolate whiskey until I sampled some during a tour.” — Cocktails & Cologne. “Rich, with a nice mix of sweet and savory flavors.” — Uncrate
What is Peated Bourbon? It’s bourbon whiskey that conforms to the American requirements for bourbon but is made with malted barley that has been exposed to peat smoke, a practice more common in Scotch whiskies—the malt we use for the peated bourbon was even grown and kilned in Scotland. So it’s a scotch-like bourbon, flavorful and robust from having aged in a new barrel, with an added light smoky finish reminiscent of single-malt. If scotch and bourbon had a baby, this is what it would taste like. As far as we know, this is the world’s only peated bourbon and will appeal to the adventurous whiskey traveler who has tried everything.
San Francisco World Spirits Competition: Double-Gold 2016, Gold 2017. ADI Craft Spirit Awards: silver medal 2016, 2017. ACSA Awards: bronze 2016, 2017. International Whisky Competition, Silver (Small Batch Bourbon), 2017.
“The dram is salt-forward from start to finish, interspersed with rich bursts of flavor. Hot rubber, pretzels, slightly bitter baker’s chocolate, warm leather, and hard candies define the palate…peat is not a primary element, but it is clear that this is an exceptionally complex spirit.”—Whiskey Wash (93) “Quite stunningly lovely.” (94=Superstar whiskies that all give us a reason to live) Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible, 2017
Barrel Strength Bourbon
Kings County barrel strength straight bourbon is pulled from some of the oldest barrel stocks that we have in inventory now: bourbon barrels aged between two and four years. Because these barrels are stronger and richer, we decided to bottle this release at barrel strength, which varies by batch usually between 115 and 124 proof.
San Francisco World Spirits Competition: silver 2017, bronze 2016. ACSA Awards: Gold medal 2016, Best in Category Bourbon. ADI Craft Spirits Awards: bronze 2016. Top Ten Bourbons, The Independent 2017
“Of all the craft distillers in the nation, none makes bourbon more delicious than Kings County”— Wine and Spirits Magazine 2015 (Spirit of the Year).
With spring around the corner, we are excited and pleased to announce the return of our Honey Moonshine, an ongoing project with Brooklyn Grange, our rooftop farming (and beekeeping) neighbors in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. For anyone who has ever wanted to know what whiskey infused with NYC honey tastes like, it is this delicious sweet and floral white whiskey. Unlike several commercial honey whiskeys on the market, ours has the real taste of honey because it’s steeped not just with real raw honey, but with with full frames from the beehives to allow the whiskey to pick up flavor from the beeswax and propolis too, with no other additives or ingredients. This run saw some improvements to filtration, but as a pro tip we still recommend shaking this bottle before consuming as the honey can concentrate toward the bottom over time.
Kings County is among the very first craft distillers to release a style of whiskey that can be considered the highest class of American Whiskey. Bottled-in-Bond is a designation that refers to American whiskeys (and some brandies) that are distilled, aged, and bottled entirely at one distillery, from barrels filled in one season, by one distiller. Furthermore, the whiskey must be four years old and bottled at precisely 100 proof. In the old days, this was a way to protect the consumer from brands that were merely bottling up whiskey from other distilleries and blending or adulterating that whiskey. In an era when consumers still sometimes have a hard time knowing exactly where their whiskeys actually come from, bottled-in-bond best expresses the advantages we enjoy by making all our whiskey in-house from grain to bottle. Highly allocated but available everywhere.
San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Best-in-Category (Small Batch Bourbon under 5 years), double-gold, 2017. International Whisky Competition, Best American Whisky, Best Bourbon, Best Small Batch Bourbon, Best Bourbon 4+ Years, gold (4) 2017. ADI, silver 2017. ACSA, bronze 2017.
Single Malt Whiskey
Our Single Malt Whiskey is made almost entirely like a single malt scotch—except that instead of being made in Scotland, it’s made here in Brooklyn. Kings County Distillery’s single malt whiskey is open-fermented off the grain from malted barley (with a hint of peat) sourced from England and Scotland. The whiskey is twice distilled in traditional Scottish pot stills, then aged in our own used bourbon barrels anywhere from 1.5 to 4 years. With a higher post-cask strength than our American-style offerings, this whiskey warranted a higher bottling strength—47%—and so it is more potent than its palate would suggest. Dry and sophisticated, it is an elegant whiskey with notes of honey, hay, burnt orange peel, and peat. It is a perfect addition to your shelves.
ACSA Craft Spirit Awards, Gold 2016. San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Bronze 2016, 2017. ADI Craft Spirit Awards, Bronze 2016, 2017.
Straight Rye Whiskey
Part of a broader project with other New York distillers, Kings County Straight Rye whiskey is made from 80% New York grown Danko rye and 20% english barley malt and is aged 2 years in charred oak barrels. With notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, maple, mint, and cut grass with a finish of warm bread and holiday spice, this is a more flavorful rye than some of its commercial peers. Released at 102 proof, this is a potent entry into a much-loved category.
We are currently sold out of our Straight Rye and expect to have it back in stock by June 1st.
These gift sets offer all three of our main whiskies in 200ml bottles, packaged in a handsome wooden box made just for us down the street in Brooklyn. The box has a burned-in image of the paymaster building from the 1900s. 5-bottle sets are also available from select retailers with the moonshine, bourbon, chocolate, peated bourbon and limited edition seasonal whiskeys.