Drinkalogue: Corsair Artisan Distillery

Testify! The Gospel According to Corsair Artisan Distillery

On a recent trip to Nashville, I was lucky enough to tour the Corsair Artisan Distillery, self-proclaimed makers of booze for badasses.

These guys are the real deal. They distill everything themselves. Our guide preached against “so-called” distillers who take what MGPI (formerly LDI) barrels in Indiana and then bottle it in Iowa, Utah or Nashville. (More on MGPI in another post.)

But I get it. Corsair is completely hands-on, every step of the process.

They have a guy who slices vanilla beans with a razor blade for their vodka. The veggies and botanicals for their award-winning gin are also hand-cut and “layered like a lasagna”. Their bottles are even individually labelled and filled.

Despite their attention to detail and reverence for distilling, they don’t follow convention. They poke at the establishment with refreshing irreverence. It takes an evil genius to devise quinoa whiskey. And a mad scientist — albeit one with incredibly good taste — to invent Triple Smoke Whiskey.

Then there’s Distillery Cat, a stray who’s now a full-fledged staff member and an expert mouser. My some-time assistant Lula Belle would be jealous.

Great big distilleries feel like theme parks. Wineries feel like artists’ studios. But Corsair felt like being in the garage with the Ramones in 1974.

My only regret: I should’ve left with a few more bottles. I didn’t realize that outside of their Gin and Triple Smoke Whiskey, it’s not easy to find Corsair on local shelves.

Note: In Nashville, Corsair distills whiskey. In Bowling Green, they distill vodka, gin and absinthe. 

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