Vermont Business Magazine The first batch of Barr Hill Reserve Tom Cat Gin aged in 100 percent Vermont oak barrels will be released at the Made in Vermont Marketplace show at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction on April 16 & 17. The Marketplace show is open to the public, and tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and children under 12 are free. Tom Cat Gin is distilled and barreled at Caledonia Spirits in Hardwick, Vermont. The quality of the barrel significantly impacts the flavor and color of the emerging spirit. The cold climate of the Northeast leads to slow growing, tight grained white oak. This along with precision and craftsmanship results in the highest quality barrels.
LEFT: "Bob and Team with VT Oak": Bob Hockert (Cooper) and Justin Bidelspach (Cooper's Assitant) pictured with the Caledonia Spirits team and the first Vermont White Oak barrel to arrive at the distillery. TOP: Andrew Pinault, Production Manager, "nosing" Tom Cat Gin fresh out of a 100% VT Oak Barrel. Caledonia Spirits photos.
“It’s thrilling to have an opportunity to distill a spirit that will extract the story of a 80-100 year old Vermont grown tree. This project has taken our distillation to new heights, and served as an opportunity to learn more about the terroir of our home state,” said Ryan Christiansen, President and Head Distiller of Caledonia Spirits.
The national barrel shortage initiated Caledonia Spirits’ quest for a local Vermont barrel. Caledonia Spirits collaborated with a forester to find white oak, a sawyer to quarter saw the wood, and a cooper to make the barrels. The white oak was sustainably and selectively harvested from the Champlain Valley of Vermont. It then gets cut, stacked, and dried in a very precise way to preserve the natural resins, sugars, and organic compounds that flavor and color the finest spirits.
“This oak is a cooper’s dream,” says Bob Hockert, Cooper, “with a perfectly straight and tight grain, and a sweet highly fragrant nose. Allowing the wood to age naturally in the open air enables it to develop its own localized and unique flavor profile. This, along with the minerals and soil conditions these trees grew in, will differentiate Barr Hill’s aged spirits from any produced elsewhere.”
Truly a spirit of Vermont that supports Vermont’s forest economy, this first batch of Tom Cat Gin aged in 100 percent Vermont White Oak captures the terroir of the land to create a suburb spirit. The Made in Vermont Marketplace next weekend at the Champlain Valley Exposition is the only trade show in Vermont that showcases a wide variety of quality products made right here in the Green Mountains.
In fact, Bob Hockert will be giving a talk and barrel making demonstrations at this trade show. Be the first to taste the Green Mountains in this category bending, terroir driven spirit that is Tom Cat Barrel Aged Gin.
For more information about the Made in Vermont Marketplace, presented by Vermont Business Magazine, visit www.madeinvermontmarketplace.com.
Caledonia Spirits is a craft distillery located in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. They partner with farmers and beekeepers to source grains and raw honey for the production of their award winning spirits. Raw honey distinguishes Barr Hill Gin, Barr Hill Vodka, and Tom Cat Barrel Aged Gin by imparting a pure and soft botanical essence into every bottle.
Hardwick, VT, April 7, 2016 – Caledonia Spirits. Facebook: @Barr Hill by Caledonia Spirits and on Twitter and Instagram @caledoniaspirits www.caledoniaspirits.com