Monday, September 28, 2015

Blackwater Distilling

When we were visiting the Eastern Shore of Maryland this past weekend, my boyfriend and I visited Blackwater Distilling, Maryland's oldest existing craft distillery (though they're only about four years old). We had a Groupon, which got us a tour of the distillery, a bottle of vodka, and two shot glasses.

Here you can see the still where the alcohol is made. In the blue jugs is the cane syrup they use to make rum. The syrup comes all the way from Brazil; I was hoping for a more local product! (although you can't grow sugarcane in Maryland...)
The tour started off on a "meh" note. The distiller giving the tour was obviously not a morning person. Although our tour started at noon, you would have thought he had just rolled out of bed (but seeing as he drinks liquor for a living, maybe he just had a crazy Saturday night beforehand...). He tried to make up for it with his pretty-boy looks (I don't know how many times he ran his hand through his hair), but his closed body language was less than friendly. He talked about how they make both rum and vodka at the facility (which, by the way, is in an industrial park and has no ambiance whatsoever), and while it sounds like a small operation, I do think they are growing.

This is where the bottles are filled with the liquor so they can be sold.

After the tour we got to taste the products! Their Sloop Betty vodka was rather harsh, but I'm sure it would have been fine in a mixed drink. For their Picaroon rum they had both a white and gold rum; the white was not very tasty, and the gold was only slightly better. Their honey vodka was noticeably sweeter, although I'm not sure I could have pin-pointed "honey" as the sweetener. I will admit that day drinking is not the norm for me, and I had a horrible headache for the rest of the day, even though we only drank the equivalent of two shots, max. I actually preferred trying some of the mixers they served; Blackwater doesn't actually make those. They were TRUE syrups: grenadine and tonic. The tonic was delicious, tasting like cinnamon and all-spice; the grenadine was made from pomegranates rather than cherries, and was pretty good, too.

For the ~$20 I paid for the Groupon, this visit was okay. But due to the lack of atmosphere at the distillery itself, the grumpy and over-rehearsed staff, plus the fact that I wasn't wowed by their products, I wouldn't bother going again.

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