In the heart of Brooklyn, the Van Brunt Stillhouse is built on the principles of integrity, creativity and pure hard work. Driven by a love of craft and a passion for creating artisan spirits, owner Daric and his team have been producing small batch farmhouse style whiskies that celebrate the flavourful essence of the grains they use since 2012.
Sourcing premium ingredients directly from upstate New York farmers, they make every spirit from scratch in the waterfront neighbourhood of Red Hook in Brooklyn under the watchful eye of the Statue of Liberty.
Eschewing the tradition of using distillers malt, Daric is known instead for his use of speciality brewers malt to bring a variety of flavours to his spirits making them as unique as possible. In his words, "If brewer’s do it, why wouldn’t whisky makers?" The result is a unique take on single malt whisky.
Starting out, it occurred to me that there was an artisanal side to distilling that had really been lost for a hundred years or moreDaric Schlesselman, Owner & Head Distiller
- Prior to starting the distillery, owner Daric was a producer on The Daily Show for over 20 years, and moved into whisky production to follow his passion for artisan spirit creation after a self-funded internship at Kilchoman, Scotland
- Master Distiller Daric’s preference is to use a double distillation process, and keep the grain on during fermentation and in the wash. It’s then removed allowing the spirit to benefit from the sugars and all the available flavours before distillation.
- At Van Brunt they don’t use distillers malt as it has the least amount of flavour, preferring brewers malt to add variation to their spirits
- Due to their city location, Van Brunt source high quality New York malt from select farms near Buffalo on the Western Coast and the Hudson Valley
- The distillery is housed in a former paint factory
- As well as single malt, Van Brunt produce bourbon, rye, moonshine and rum, plus they even have a popular bar if you find yourself nearby of an evening!
Cask World's Highlights
Daric is a one of a kind distiller, not afraid to go against the grain and experiment with production methods, while at the same time being a traditionalist keen to focus on creating farmhouse style whiskies in the heart of the city.
There is something special about this distillery. As we walked along the streets in Brooklyn I could feel it. So much history - since the 1800’s the smell of fermenting grain and new make spirit has been an everyday part of life here. The streets have hidden many an illegal still - this place goes back to the whisky wars where the authorities fought with batons, knives and axes in the alleys to root out the illegal tax-avoiding moonshiners.
Initially set up by Daric and his wife the brand is already established, with many New York outlets stocking their wax-sealed products. Although the majority are bourbon and rye whiskeys, Daric has produced a single malt like no other that has been well received and enjoyed around the world - there just isn’t enough of it!
With that in mind he’s keen to produce more and has already begun to lay down more limited bourbon and sherry cask matured Brooklyn single malt – and due to this we at Cask World are lucky enough to have access to some of New York’s only premium single malt whisky.
Already commanding a strong and good value price point, he is now maturing new make spirit produced with local New York state malt in Spanish sherry casks. Van Brunt Stillhouse Single Malt is super undervalued and given a bit more time and exposure this will become a well sought-after single malt and certainly the Big Apple's favourite.
Van Brunt Stillhouse at a glance
Van Brunt Stillhouse
Daric Schlesselman & Sarah Ludington
Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York
There are 6 members of the team including Daric as Head Distiller and Co-Founder, Sarah (who deals with Sales & Marketing), Daniel their Production Anchor, and in addition Suki their cask guard dog!
Van Brunt have a warehouse distillery located on the waterfront in Red Hook, Brooklyn, set up with a smaller 30 gallon output still and using a double distillation technique
Primary Whisky Types
American whiskies, including bourbon, single malt, and rye
Virgin American oak and ex-bourbon
Currently all casks are stored on site at the distillery in Brooklyn
Av. Length of Maturation
Mainly 5-6 years
Current Bottle Prices
World Whiskies Awards 2017 - Best Standard Design for Van Brunt Single Malt Whisky
The Fifty Best Awards 2016 - American Single Malt Whiskey 2016 - Gold for Van Brunt Single Malt Whisky
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