Tasting American Craft Distillers One Sip At A Time

on 03/02/11 at 3:57 pm


Matt Colglazier, founder of American Craft Spirits, in his tasting room in Indiana

Over the past few years, a groundswell of independent spirits distilleries has cropped up all across the country. Some call the Chicago area home (such as North Shore and Koval), while many more are setting up shop in Oregon, New York and Michigan. These newly minted enterprises are producing a stunning range of products, from whiskey to rum to absinthe. Sensing the tremors underfoot, Indianan Matt Colglazier has taken to writing the revolution.

Last summer, the Bloomington resident launched American Craft Spirits, a website devoted to the movement and its bottled goodness. Colglazier interviews distillers, coopers (barrel makers) and other major figures in this rebounding industry (Prohibition and conglomeration had killed off many of America”s original small distilleries). He also reviews the spirits coming out of these shops. “Nobody was really writing about them exclusively,” Colglazier says. “So I thought, I’m going to limit myself to just American craft spirits from these small distilleries.”

His tasting approach is pretty straightforward. “I use a typical tulip-shaped nosing glass,” Colglazier says. “I taste on multiple occasions. I chew on it a little bit, spit it, have a little bit more, chew on it a little bit. I get to the point where I feel I’ve homed in on two or three different aspects of the spirit of the spirit I really like and I think are working for it, and I try to write that.”

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