Today I went on a field trip with my son Adam to the St. Augustine Distillery. Awesome trip, tour, tasting and lunch.
We arrived just before the beginning of the 11:30 am tour. (Tours begin every half-hour.) About two dozen people had arrived before us, and our tour guide, Michael, quickly herded us all into the staging area of the 100+ year old building originally built as an ice plant.
Michael gave us an entertaining history of the distillery, plus a description of what to expect inside. This location is classified as a micro-distillery. They have won many awards for their bourbon, rum, vodka and gin in that category.
The tour wasn’t long. The first stop was the room where the mash was prepared and the two-stage distilling took place. The second stop was the barrels. The third stop was a tasing room, where Michael donned his bartender hat and prepared Florida Mules and a rum punch for us to sample. Both were excellent.
The final stop was the gift shop, where two more bartenders prepared an Old Fashioned and a gin concoction for us. Again, both were delicious. After that, we had the chance to sample the double casked bourbon and a port casked bourbon. Sales of all their bottled products, glassware, mixers and other cool stuff funded the free tours and samples, so of course, we took some home with us.
After supper tonight, I poured a little of the double casked bourbon for my son-in-law and father-in-law, and we all agreed that it was tasty, complex, and for my money, an excellent whiskey!
We could have had lunch at the Ice Plant Restaurant upstairs, but elected to enjoy some pork and brisket sandwiches at Mojo old city barbecue instead (one of my favorite places.)