Kings County Distillery


Kings County Distillery is New York City oldest, largest and premier whiskey distillery. They started the business in 2010 in a tiny spot in Bushwick and then moved to the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 2012. At the Navy Yard I took the 3pm tour the distillery offered for 16 dollars. The first part of the tour was the experiment wall. This wall shows all the spirits that they tried that were successful, as well as the ones that never made it on the market. Then we proceeded with the whiskey war history. Where the tax distiller Clinton Gilbert was shot and killed (Poleman & Haskell 2015) page 72. Kings County distillery has 9 years of service since prohibition.

Spirits and Ingredients:

Straight Bourbon: is their main type of whiskey. The technique Kings County Distillery uses are the grain mixture which is made up of 80 percent of New York State corn and 20 percent U.K barley. It is combined with the fresh corn and then stored in the oak barrels. It has 45 percent alcohol. Aged for 2 years.

Chocolate flavored whiskey: is infused with moonshine. The flavor and the aroma  from the nose comes from the shell or the husk of the coco beans, then sits 3 to 4 months in stainless steel pot still.

Moonshine: Other known as whiskey before aged in a barrel. The moonshine corn whiskey ingredients are corn make from 80 percent New York State corn and 20 percent malted barley. The moonshine is double distilled. It has 40 percent alcohol.

Peated Bourbon whiskey: Is made from malted barley that has been exposed by peat smoke. It is made up of 45 percent alcohol, from 75 percent corn and 25 percent Scottish grown peated malt.

Grape fruit jalapeno flavored moonshine: Both fruits are processed in a separate thank. However the seeds from the jalapenos are removed. The moonshine is infused with citrus, bitterness and heat on the palate.

Farming, Fermenting and distilling practices:

Kings county whiskeys are process includes mash,fermenting straining, stripping run, spirit run, proofing and aging on site. (Poleman & Haskell, 2013) page 130 to 144. Using 24 liters stainless steel stills and 5 oak fermenters made from roof tops water top which holds 40 gallon each. The straight bourbon is distilled twice in copper pots still and aged in new charred oak barrels. First they must choose the barley or corn, then malt the desired grain, extraction of the sugar (corn or barley). They are then combined with warm water also known as the mash, the reduction of carbohydrates creates sugar to activate the yeast. The result is called wort. The draff is the husk or any particles which is used for farming. Follows by fermentation which is yeast + sugar + alcohol = coz+ ethanol + heat. The yeast is then doubled to help absorb the sugar which creates the beer . It is then fermented in oak barrels.  Then comes distillation where the uses copper still known spirit run as to help extract contaminants from the spirit. There are 3 alcohol that is produced from this process foreshots high in alcohol followed by the head, feints very low in alcohol and heart which is high proof alcohol right before the heart is 70 percent proof the tail is distilled water at the end. The transformation from beer to whiskey, maturation of the whiskey is where the spirit sits in charred oak barrels. Then aging in the oak barrels which adds flavor, texture on the palate and color in the appearance. Over all the experience was knowledgeable because the tour guide was familiar with his history and the AVA’s, his spirits, the fermenting process and he was able to answer random questions connecting the question to the lesson in the tour.

Reference list:

Poleman, C., & Haskell, D.,(2015). Kings County Distillery: Dead Distillers.

In-text reference:        (Poleman & Haskell, 2015)

Poleman, C., & Haskell, D.,(2015). Kings County Distillery: Guide to Urban           Moonshining.

In-text reference:       (Poleman & Haskell, 2013)


This wall displays all the spirits they have been successful with and other that were not

Wall of experiment

This ticket has the proof that  Clinton Gilbert was shot and killed because of the whiskey war.

Hospital ticket

used to make the chocolate flavored whiskey

stainless steel pot still

Wooden Fermenter

Premium whiskey stored in smaller sized barrels.


3 main types of whiskey: Moonshine, bourbon and Chocolate flavored

source number 1.

source number 2


Retail Beverage Shop Analysis/Comparison

For my Retail Beverage Shop visit, I went to Astor Wine and Spirits and Union Square wine.  Both retail stores had similarities as well as differences. Union Square wine was my first wine store visit, I was extremely excited because now that I study wine and have the knowledge of what to look for it makes it much more interesting. USW was a medium size store where they had a glass door entrance with their logo in red. When I entered there was a lady at the information desk who greeted me and asked how can she help. I told her the purpose for my visit and I proceeded asking how is the layout of the store, is it by region or by grape variety.  I was then advised to have a look around and the wines will be categorized by regions. The wine bottles were displayed by categories. They were set up with the high price wines at the top and the inexpensive wines at the bottom. They also had a Japanese wine section called Fukushima. USW carries canned, bottled and boxed package wine. They did not have recommended wines nor “shelf talker” however they had a featured section. It was very slow because there was only one other customer beside myself. Overall, I found USW to be simple and did not have a lot to offer such as tasting menus. Since I did not like my experience at USW a fellow HMGT student recommended me to Astor Wines and Spirits. When I walked in Astor Wines and Spirits, it felt like a supermarket because there were many signs, shopping carts, cashiers, and refrigerated areas. They sell other products such as wine openers, ice trays and wine bags for storage and gifting. I spoke to a friendly employee and asked her about their delivery services. I was curious about the procedures for ordering online because they had a delivery section. There is no need for a store visit when you can shop online. That’s if you study wine of course. The tasting area caught my attention because they had a calendar to inform their customers with upcoming tasting events. With wine tasting it allows guests to sample and choose their favorites, rather than making a blind purchase not knowing what to expect. I really enjoyed my experience at Astor Wines and Spirits because of the selection of wines from regions such as France, Italy and Spain.

Union Square Wines’ display of canned wines. The wine in the picture is a California Pinot Noir Rose.

Bandit wines in carton bottles. The blue boxes are Merlot and the yellow is Pinot Grigio from California. These wines would be paired well with salmon.

This is a shelf talker at Astor Wines and Spirits.

Rebel Red wine from Portugal made out of Baga grapes. 2016 Vintage

Cava Sparkling wine from Spain