Kings County Distillery

King’s County Distillery is the first distillery in New York City since prohibition, and they are only 8 years old. So no one was distilling in NYC for many decades before they had their start. When you first walk in you are instantly hit with the yeasty fermented aroma coming from one of the rooms. Our tour guide named Lisa took us upstairs to the “boozeum” where we sat and talked about the history of alcohol, and specifically whiskey, in the United States. She knew so much about the history of alcohol in America which was a very nice addition to the tour information. When she took us downstairs to the distilling room she explained that they use copper stills and steam to cook their mash. They use a combination of 80% corn from upstate in the fingerlakes, and 20% barley for the mash that they use to make the whiskey. The spent mash is then thrown away while the liquid is stripped to make drinkable. There are different layers stripped from the liquid, foreshots, which is not safe to drink, heads, hearts, and tails. These are called cuts. The unaged whiskey is then put into charred oak barrels that Lisa says contributes to 50% of the flavor of the end product. She took us into a room with rows of barrels and we were able to see what 1 day , 2 days, 1 month, 1 year, and 2.5 years aged whiskey looks like. She also explained that there is a portion of the distillate that is lost in the aging process. There is a portion known as the devil’s cut which is absorbed by the wood of the oak barrel. The other lost portion is known as the angel’s share, which is lost as vapor through the wood.

The last portion of the tour was the tasting which took place in the boozeum upstairs where we had begun the tour. We tasted 5 different whiskeys, moonshine, which she says is a great base that you can flavor, flagship bourbon, peated bourbon, and two flavored whiskies, a winter baking spices flavor, and a bittersweet chocolate one. I was very surprised at how well the the flavors showed up against the taste of the whiskey itself. It was interesting to be able to taste these different types back to back because I was able to pick out distinct differences between them, especially the viscosity of them. While the moonshine and flagship bourbon had very thin consistency, the chocolate and peated barley bourbon had a thicker consistency on the tongue. After the tasting we were able to walk around the boozeum and while I was looking at the wall of bottles they had in the middle of the room Lisa mentioned to me that on one side of the wall were bottles with hand written labels of award winning whiskeys they had made, and the other side of the wall was their experiments of flavors they had tested over time. They also had a little shop in this room where you can buy t-shirts, hats, a couple of books they have published, wood carved gift boxes for their whiskeys, and you can even buy a used oak barrel for the steep price of $150. Overall, this was a great tour, very pleased with the tour guide I had.



About. (n.d.). Retrieved from

The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining. (n.d.). Retrieved from


This is the entrance of the Brooklyn Navy Yard where the Kings County Distillery tasting room is.

KC distillery

This is the room where most of the production and distilling is done.


This is where the whiskey is aged in charred new oak barrels.


This is the counter in the tasting room with our tour guide Lisa.


This is some of the stuff the Kings County Distillery are selling such as shirts and whiskey gift box sets.


Wall of experiments


Award winners


Progression from 1 day of aging to 2.5 years


This is part of the first batch of un-aged whiskey that was distilled in New York City since the end of prohibition.

Hunter’s Point Wines & Spirits

The storefront of Hunter’s Point Wines & Spirits had a very beautiful and simple look to it. There is a window bench seat with pillows at the front of the store and a couple of potted plants that that relaxed vibe. The walls are lined with shelves and when you walk through that front room you enter a short hallway or corridor where they have crates set up where they have a few varieties of sparkling white wines from different countries. The next room is larger with more shelves and at the tops of the shelves are small metal signs signifying where the wines are from. They had the major wine countries represented at the beginning of the shelves like France, Italy, and Spain; then there was a small section for wines from the United States. Next are a set of unlabeled shelves that hold wine from an array of different countries that may not be typically known for their wine like Serbia, Croatia, Republic of Georgia, South Africa, and a few more. The two men were very helpful making sure I knew I could ask them any questions I had.

When I finally took them up on their offer for questions I spoke with Marco. I asked him how the store was organized and he explained that they actually organize the shelves by country rather than type or grape. I thought that was very interesting; it was different than I had seen before. He explained that they do this so that the customer can see more of the variety of the store. If they organize the store by type the customer is limited to what they come in for. If they are looking for a chardonnay that is all you will look at. You will come into the store grab a wine from that section and proceed to the register rather than browsing all the interesting things they have to offer. He also explained that at the front of the store they shelve the everyday wines that regular customers will come in and grab for a regular night, while the pricier wines are shelved at the back of the store. I asked if they every change that set up for any reason and he said no. Maybe if there is a new product, but typically it’s kept that way. I asked him if there is a wine that he finds sells most, but he said that they have such a variety that there isn’t just one kind that sells best. I was happy to hear that because that means the organization that they went with for their store is working; people are seeing all they have to offer. He also explained how they pick the variety that they have in the store. He said that they don’t really have much from the United States because they quality of wine you can get from oversees for an affordable price point like $20 for a bottle is nowhere near the quality you will get from let’s say California for the same price. What you get from the U.S. for $20 will basically be a bottle pf expensive juice. That was a very interesting point to make. Over all it was a great experience. Will definitely go there again.

red wine

This is a red wine from Spain


This is a sparkling wine from Croatia



This is a wine from Georgia Country. More interesting to me because I recently met someone from the country.


This is a hand-written shelf talker for a wine from Austria

to try

This is a wine that I bought to try at home. It was described as a semi-sweet with vegetal notes from South Africa.