New York State is home to some of the best distilleries in the US. They produce whiskey, gin, spirit, bourbon, moonshine, and more. You can visit these distilleries and have a taste of their finest and even get a tour around the facility.
One of the best distilleries in New York State is Kings County Distillery. The Kings County Distillery makes great whiskeys, bourbon, and moonshine using handmade distilling equipment and New York’s grain.
But that’s not the only distillery worth your time. Read on to learn more about the best distilleries in New York State.
1. Kings County Distillery
Kings County Distillery is one of New York’s finest distilleries. It has existed since 2010 and was the first distillery company after Prohibition. In 2016, it won the Distillery of the Year award.
The company makes rye whiskey, bourbon, salt malt whiskey, and corn whiskey. However, they seek out new recipes and recently launched their new Whiskey, Blended Bourbon. Blended
Bourbon is a rich blend of other whiskeys and has a new label.
Kings County uses New York’s grain and locally made equipment. All whiskey production and bottling take place in New York. They aim to make the finest Whiskey in New York with traditional equipment and natural ingredients.
The company is open for visitation, tour, and testing from 2 pm – 10 pm on Mondays to Fridays, 12 pm – 10 pm on Saturdays, and 12 pm – 8 pm on Sundays.
You can take a 45-minute Distillery tour around the facility when you visit for $20. You’ll learn about the company’s history and journey. You’ll see the milling, mashing, fermenting, and distilling process.
Another tour you can take is the Top Shelf Distillery ($30 per person). During this 75-minute tour, you’ll learn about the history of Whiskey in America and its value in the country. You also get a tour around the barrel room and free whiskey tasting.
Lastly, you can enroll in their whiskey-tasting classes. You will learn how to tell the taste of whiskey by its smell and how to know a good whiskey. You’ll have to enroll for this one-hour class for $35.
2. Widow Jane’s Distillery
Widow Jane’s Distillery is named after an old mine called Widow Jane’s Mine in Rossendale, NY. It’s existed since 2012, and its whiskey and bourbon have won multiple awards.
The company uses the freshwater preserved by limestone in the Widow Jane’s Mine. The water is said to be sweet, pure, and healthy, and they use it to proof their aging whiskey. This glorious liquid was used to build lots of historic and great structures.
The water is one of the company’s signature whiskey ingredients. They use non-GMO grains from different parts, including New York. These Artisans then distill, age, bottle, and print labels in their home in Red Hook at 214 Conover Street, NY. They store their whiskey for about 2-12 years.
This distillery is famous for the Baby Jane spirit, made with a special corn variety developed by them. They’re open Mondays to Fridays from 9 am – 5 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am – 7 pm.
3. New York Distilling Company
The New York Distilling Company is also one of the earliest distilleries after Prohibition. It was established in 2012. The distillery aims to produce quality New York-based spirits as before Prohibition.
They produce great whiskeys, gin, and cocktails. They rank amongst the best distilleries in
America. In their gin family, they have the Navy Strength gin, American gin, and Rose Petal Infused gin.
These gins have a unique taste. They’re made with elderberries, rose petals, hibiscus, and other rich farm ingredients. The company has a farm distillers license which allows them to obtain their ingredients in New York.
They use completely natural organic ingredients straight from the farm. They also have a public bar where visitors can hang out and try their spirits.
The whiskey family has Rock and Rye, American Straight Whiskey, Mom’s Whiskey, Applejack Barrel Finished, and Bottled in Bond. These drinks include cinnamon, bold rye flavor, sour cherries, and other flavors.
They’re open Wednesdays to Fridays from 5 pm – 12 am, Saturdays from 2 pm – 12 am, and Sundays from 4 pm – 10 pm. You can find them at 79 Richardson Street, Brooklyn, New York, NY 11211.
4. Great Jones Distillery
Great Jones Distillery was the first to take up the challenge of distilling whiskey again in Manhattan after Prohibition. It was going to be an arduous task seeing that no equipment or prototypes were left in Manhattan.
Nevertheless, they began their production of whiskey and other spirits. All their ingredients are from the Black Dirt region in New York.
They chose that region because of its rich soil and clean air. Because it’s cultivated in the right environment, the product adds a unique flavor to the whiskey.
It took a lot of planning and years to build their 28,000 sq ft (2,601 sq m) distillery. Today, they distill spirits and have a restaurant, bar, and a special private speakeasy basement level.
Visitors get to choose wherever they like to relax and take a drink.
The company is open for an hour whiskey distillery tour for about $35. On this tour, you learn more about the ingredients and equipment used in making whiskey. The tour will continue around the building and end in the tasting room.
5. Finger Lakes Distilling
Finger Lakes Distilling is a craft distilling company, one of its kind. They use natural farm fruits and grains to make amazing spirits. Their products include gins, spirits, Vodka, grappa, whiskey, bourbon, liqueurs, brandies, and lots more.
They not only have varieties of drinks to try out, but they also have a tour option. They have the Craft Your Adventure Challenge. You get to go on a 950-mile (1500 kilometers) forest hike. The task is to visit seven different tasting rooms on the trail. You can do this in one visit or across several visits.
If you choose to do it at different times, you’ll get to tick every tasting room you’ve visited till it’s complete. You get to taste and enjoy their quality, well-made spirits, brandies, and other drinks. You also get an I Drink Local Craft t-shirt to go with the enjoyment.
It’s advisable to hire a rental or come with a driver. You wouldn’t be safe to drive after such a tasty adventure. Asides from the adventure, they have other outdoor fun available on the premises. You can take a look at the amazing view of the lake.
You can also relax in their beer garden, get food from food trucks, access wi-fi, etc. It’s open for family and friends, and your pet can tag along too. You can bring your meal along if you’re not one to eat outside.
6. Black Button Distilling
The Black Button Distilling is a grain-to-glass craft company located at 85 Railroad St,
Rochester, NY 14609. It began in 2012 as a street whiskey distillery that sold in little batches.
It has been expanded twice and is about to unveil a new tasting room. They have grown and now produce quality whiskey, cocktails, bourbon, gin, and crafted spirits.
In 2021, one of their whiskeys won Best Whiskey in New York State. They’ve won other awards too.
They make their spirits with 90% farmed New York grains. By using farm produce, they aim to encourage agriculture in New York.
Black Button Distilling is open for tours. You can get a free tour of the distillery and how spirits are crafted, along with free tasting. You can also get cocktails or just relax with friends or family.
7. 1911 Spirits
Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards sponsors the making of 1911 Spirits. The orchard has existed since 1911, hence the spirit’s name. However, they started producing spirits in 2009.
The company produces very fine gin, spirits, wine, and ciders. Their drinks have won bronze and gold medals on different occasions. The company cultivates the orchard and hand trims to ensure the fruits grow healthy.
They also have a tasting room where you can taste their wine, ciders, gin, Vodka, and spirits. The tasting room is open from 11 am – 8 pm on Thursdays through Sundays.
8. St. Lawrence Spirits Distillery
St. Lawrence Spirits Distillery won the award of Best Distillery of the Year in New York
2019-2021. They produce exquisite Vodka, whiskey, bourbon, gin, absinthe, and moonshine.
One of their secret ingredients is water from the St. Lawrence River itself. All other ingredients used in making their spirits are from local New York farms. These ingredients are cultivated organically.
Asides from the distilling of spirits, the distillery is surrounded by a tasting room and a restaurant (The Château).
9. Van Brunt Stillhouse
Van Brunt Stillhouse is a distillery that produces some of the finest whiskeys in Brooklyn. What makes their whiskey special is the nature of the ingredients. They make use of only natural organic farm produce.
They only allow organic fertilizers to help control pests and diseases, but that’s about it. Instead of allowing chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides, they use the traditional rotation method.
One major ingredient for making whiskey is commodity corn. However, the Brunt family are good farmers who believe that commodity corn destroys the soil. This led them to substitute it with malt, which gives their whiskey a special taste.
Today, they have about eight types of whiskey. They also produce vodka, rum, and crafted cocktails.
All these drinks have a unique taste that sets them apart from others.
10. Hillrock Estate Distillery
Hillrock Estate Distillery is one of the first distilleries that began whiskey crafting after Prohibition. They plant, cultivate, and harvest their ingredients themselves.
The Estate also craft, age, and hand-bottle their whiskey themselves. They are field-to-glass producers, and their whiskey is top quality. Every ingredient and process is accounted for.
The distillery offers tours through the facility. You will see the process of making whiskey, and you get to have your questions about whiskey answered. They have a tasting room where you can taste their whiskey for around $22- $24. After tasting, you can purchase anyone of your choice.
They are open every day, from 11 am-6 pm. However, they are usually closed on special holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
11. Do Good Spirits
Do Good Spirits started in 2009 but was known as Prohibition Distillery. It was born out of the passion for making the best Vodka in New York. However, as time passed, it became one of the best in the world and won different awards. It was named Do Good Spirits in 2020.
During its inception, it shared a building with another distillery. As time went on, they started to need their own space. That’s why they found 8,000 sq ft (743 sq m) of land in Roscoe.
When they started, they progressed in their search for the right taste of Vodka through trial and error. They didn’t have a plan they could work with, so they relied on Google and their instinct.
As time went on, they discovered their errors and made corrections till it was perfect. They went on to explore other drinks like gin and bourbon. They also invented the Beaverkill Bourbon Cream, which won an award.
Do Good Spirits has a mission of giving back to the veterans, especially those who left families behind, which is why it creates avenues for raising funds for charity.
They have a tasting room open from 10 am – 6 pm, Sundays to Thursdays. They’re open from 10 am – 7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
12. Last Shot Distillery
Last Shot Distillery is a new addition to the distilling companies in New York. It was established in 2015, and it’s located at 4022 Mill Road, Skaneateles, NY 13152.
They produce whiskey, bourbon, Vodka, and rye. They use Finger Lakes water and distill it lightly to reduce chlorine content. It’s open for crafted spirits and cocktails, tasting, and tours.
On your tour, you’ll learn about the process of making spirits. You’ll also see the process, know a little history about how the company started, and ask any whiskey-related questions.
13. Krooked Tusker Distillery
If you visit Finger Lake any time, you should take a stroll to Krooked Tusker Distillery. It’s a small distillery that produces Vodka, gin, and whiskey in small quantities.
The distillery is situated on a hill facing Keuka Lake. They offer tours too. You can take a tour around the distillery to see the production process and taste their spirits.
There are food trucks around, so you can get a drink or a meal and relax while enjoying the splendid view of Keuka Lake.
14. Dark Island Spirits
Dark Island Spirits Distillery operates on a grain-to-glass basis. All their products are handcrafted. It produced its spirit from Canada during its inception and transported it to the US.
However, after Prohibition, they moved to Alexander Bay, New York. They produce spirits, Vodka, whiskey, gin, bourbon, and other liqueurs here. They make use of organic farm ingredients.
Also, experts do every process, from cultivating to harvesting to mashing to distilling, by hand. They are open on Thursdays from 11 am-5 pm. On Fridays, they are open from 11 am-6 pm.
They offer a free tour around the facility if you request one. As you tour, be sure to stop by their tasting room. Here, you can taste all their products and other fine NYC wines.
15. Clayton Distillery
Clayton Distillery is a small distillery company that began in 2013. They are located on Thousand Islands in New York. Since its inception, it has always held the banner of organic, naturally cultivated grains and fruits.
They grow their ingredients or buy from trusted farms in New York. All their spirits are handcrafted. They believe in getting locally grown ingredients and experimenting with new recipes till you get what you want. That was how they ran their business till they got a consistent taste.
They produce whiskeys, gins, vodkas, maple strawberry liqueur, bourbon, moonshine, limoncello, mixed berry vodka, orange cello, and so many others. You have a wide range of spirits to taste and purchase.
They have a tasting room. You can look around to see how the mashing, distilling, blending, and bottling of the spirits is done. They are open Wednesdays to Sundays, 12 pm-5 pm. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
16. Old Scotland Road Distillery
The Old Scotland Road Distillery is situated on a farm owned by the Hyder family for three generations. It was established in 2020 during the pandemic but has grown since then. Dean, the owner of the Distillery, was a former Navy officer who wanted to try his hands at something different.
The distillery uses New York farm-grown grains. These grains are used in making all their spirits. They are known for their award-winning handcrafted Krupnik. Their other spirits are white corn whiskey, bourbon, moonshine, and white rye.
When you visit the distillery, you can request for a tour, which will be led by Dean. He’ll tell you, and you get to see, the fermentation to the bottling process of the spirits. You can even get a taste of the spirits on your tour in the tasting room.
The distillery operates a grain-to-bottle system. The whole process of making the spirits takes place on their ground. Their spirits are handcrafted with precision to give the best result.