Kings County Distillery
feels very Brooklyn. Crammed into a 350 sq. ft. room, it’s as if someone decided to distill whiskey in their studio apartment. In the warehouse area of East Williamsburg, the distillery is in a non-descript building on a road where the sign is missing, prompting one man on a recent tour to motion toward his friend, saying, “She thought I brought her to Brooklyn to kill her.”
But once inside and up a staircase, the atmosphere is warm and the people even warmer. At the ripe age of two years old – less time than most whiskeys mature in a barrel – Kings County Distillery is the oldest operating whiskey distillery in New York City. Laws changed over the past few years to make it easier to have a small distillery in New York, especially if locally-grown products are used. Kings County Distillery opened in 2010, had their first moonshine that August and their first bourbon that December, using smaller 5 gallon barrels to speed up the aging process that usually happens in a 53-gallon barrel.
Deck the halls with boughs of whiskey
Stand up the tree, it's lookin' tipsy
Now we drink our Lagavulin
And give a toast to this year's coolin'
My only Christmas tradition in Brooklyn is my tree-topper. I didn't have a Christmas tree my first two years here, so last year, I was determined. We picked out our tree at a sidewalk stand up the street and had it "delivered," which in New York means a teenager awkwardly carries the tree behind you and follows you home. Then I had to get a tree stand and find lights and unpack some ornaments. But what to put on top of the tree? I needed something that would fit...like an empty bottle...Michter's just happened to by lying around. This year, Four Roses was about ready, so I took care of those last few drops and topped the tree. Whiskey really is the best Christmas spirit.
The cold weather is creeping in here in Brooklyn, which is the perfect season for chili. Whiskey goes well on the side of chili, so I figured it must go well in a chili. I found quite a few recipes, but ended up trying out one with plenty of spices and just a hint of cocoa powder.
Char No. 4
on Smith Street sounded perfect – no dying involved.
A whiskey and cheese tasting is exactly what it sounds like – 5 whiskeys lined up in a flight next to a plate of six cheeses.
We got treated to one of the whiskeys twice. They were already paired, which Patrick from Stinky Brklyn
(delightful cheese shop on Smith Street), assured us was a torturous afternoon of tasting whiskey and cheese. Sounds just awful – how do I sign up?
The whiskey (or whisky since it was actually Scotch) was provided by Compass Box Whisky Co.
, which was apparently started by an American who wanted to get into winemaking, but got sidetracked by the deliciousness of whisky. Understandable.
Whisky and homemade macaroni and cheese could be on my list for last suppers if I was going to be executed. So an evening of whiskey and cheese pairing at