Although in general we only visit one tasting room per excursion, we made an exception this time so we could try some local bourbon. We have been to the Long Island Spirits tasting room before, but only to taste the vodkas. Our freezer now contains their entire line of vodka and flavored vodkas, but that’s another story. The tasting room is up some shiny wood stairs, which, our son-in-law notes, could be a bit of a hazard after a tasting, into a large barn-like room with views over the fields.
Today we want to try the “brown” spirits. For $13 you can try any two of the three on offer, and you get to keep the glass, plus they give you a little bag of crackers to clear your palate and a small bottle of water. A tasting of three vodkas is $9. The distillery also has a nice collection of t-shirts and gift baskets for sale. Since we’ve just come from Comtesse Thérèse, we all share one tasting!
- Pine Barrens American $45
This is a single malt whiskey (not Scotch), with some sweetness and aromas of grain and warm spices. They make it from a barley-wine-style ale, we are told.
- Rough Rider Bourbon $40
I’m not sure, but I wonder whether the name commemorates Teddy Roosevelt’s use of the Montauk dunes to train his Rough Riders before they headed to Cuba. In any event, this bourbon is actually mostly crafted in the Midwest, but then aged here in Long Island chardonnay casks. The aroma is of caramel, and while it is okay, it is “not fascinating,” says the son-in-law, an excellent creator of cocktails, and we agree. It would make a good Old Fashioned or Manhattan, which indeed proves true that evening during our home cocktail hour.
Reasons to visit: you’re tired of wine (just kidding); you want to try spirits made locally; you want to buy some vodka or whiskey for cocktail time; interesting flavored vodkas; nice gift baskets.