Since Labor Day weekend 2011, Delaware Phoenix Rye whiskey, Bourbon whiskey, and Corn whiskey have been released to select stores. All of these whiskies are 100% pot distilled without use of any rectification column. This results in a more full bodied whiskey, in our opinion, of course. But it seems like there are enough fans to indicate some other folks agree!
A little distillery in upstate New York making hand-crafted whiskey and absinthes in a 45 gallon Christian Carl pot still. Located in Walton, New York along the Delaware River in the Western Catskills, evokes images of moonshine made along the banks of country streams in days gone past, however, Delaware Phoenix is a legitimate distillery licensed by the Federal and State governments. My absinthes use the finest herbs from the US, Italy and Spain. The wormwood is hand harvested at the peak of perfection by small family herbalists in Virginia and New York. For my (soon to be released) whiskey, the basic grain is from an organic supplier in the Finger Lakes area while the malted grains are from a major supplier of some of the finest malts to America's finest craft brewers.
When looking at reviews, be aware that each of my spirits has their own partisans. When presenting tastings it's very interesting to see some people gravitate towards one or the other as their favorite. It's not really possible to predict which one you will like. In fact, I hope you like them all.
If you don't want to believe me that my products might be worth your while, the professional judges of the New York International Spirits Competition granted Walton Waters (absinthe) and Rye Dog, an unaged whiskey from rye, these Gold Medal Awards. Further Delaware Phoenix was honored with the distinguished title of Distillery of the Year 2010. (I didn't enter Meadow of Love in this competition, but I think it's not too shabby either.) Also the San Fransicso World Spirits Competition awarded Rye Dog a Gold medal in the category of Rye whiskey. We've got unaged whiskey here going up against aged whiskey and being awarded a higher medal than nearly all the competition. Quite an accomplishment for my little pup.
I personally believe these awards acknowledge my hard work and some skill that goes into the making of these spirits where corners are not cut in order to make a buck. The production method for my spirits harken back to an era when people worked the land and the land provided people what they needed.
Rye whiskey is the classic American grain spirit. Hugely popular, especially in the Northeast, it was killed by Prohibition. This spirit is now back and at Delaware Phoenix I produce this whiskey based on early 19th century methods. The grain bill is 100% rye, using 10% malted rye and 90% rye grain. Aged in 10 and 25 gallon barrels for under 12 months (usually about 8) each barrel is a unique expression combining grain, distillation, oak and storage environment for a rich, deep flavor as bold as the early settlers of Walton!
Bourbon whiskey is associated with the genteel Southern lifestyle of Kentucky. But bourbon doesn't have to be made there as it's the official American spirit according to an Act of Congress. The grain recipe here is almost 70% corn, 13% malted barley, and 18% rye. Again produced using methods based on the early 1820's production methods from some of the early Kentucky distillers (some of whom were women, such as Catherine Carpenter, according to Bourbon Historian Michael Veach). This bourbon has bold, thick flavors that practically coat the tongue.
Corn whiskey is the traditional spirit of the South, and of moonshine legend. But this corn whiskey has all of the good and not of the bad sometimes associated with moonshine. In fact, it's not moonshine at all! A traditional corn whiskey with a slight twist of using both malted barley and malted rye and aged in used oak barrels for a couple months of aging. This allows the whiskey to mellow, the corn to come forward, and the oak barrel flavors to integrate. A distinguished sipping corn whiskey.
Rye Dog is a clear, unaged whiskey made in the same manner as rye whiskey. The only difference is that rye whiskey is placed in oak barrels following distillation for aging while so-called white whiskies such as Rye Dog are placed in stainless steel containers and not rested much at all. Rye Dog is a full flavored whiskey almost more similar to an eau-de-vie and without oak to obscure the flavors from the distilled grain. And Rye Dog used the same grain bill as Delaware Phoenix Rye Whiskey: 10% malted rye and 90% rye grain.
Many consider this the most traditional of my absinthes. The core six herbs are grand wormwood, anise, fennel, roman wormwood, hyssp, and lemon balm. The seventh herb is lemon thyme. You can find reviews at the Wormwood Society. F. Paul Pacult in the September 2009 issue of Spirits Journal rated Walton Waters "Recommended".
The Meadow of Love is referred to as a more floral, feminine, and drier absinthe. The core six herbs are grand wormwood, anise, fennel, roman wormwood, hyssp, and lemon balm in different proportions than the Walton Waters. The seventh herb is violet. You can find reviews at the Wormwood Society. F. Paul Pacult in the September 2009 issue of Spirits Journal rated MoL "Highly Recommended".
Please visit Catskill Cellars or Astor Wine & Spirits websites. Both store have nice and secure online shops where you will find many other spirits to tempt your palate. If you do not find my products listed there, it is because they are out of stock, and I am busing making more.
Check out the Google map! There are five retail stores upstate, two in the Hudson region, four stores in Manhattan, and a few in Williamsburg that stock my absinthes. Some of the finest cocktail and "speakeasy" bars in the city have my absinthes as well. And if your bar, restaurant or retail liquor stores doesn't, you should contact Delaware Phoenix and order direct from the source. Some geographic restrictions apply.
This list is not definitive! Best to call ahead as well as ask your retailer to special order for you and your bar to carry Delaware Phoenix. They'll be able to get it if they order it, though it may take some time.
Currently I'm reconstructing my website with the basic information you need on where to purchase my products. Please visit my Facebook pages for more fun information and interaction. At some point I'll enhance this site, but right now I'd rather spend my time making whiskey and absinthe and getting it to you.
Delaware Phoenix Distillery
PO Box 245 • 144 Delaware Street
Walton, NY 13856