This story was written by Peter Blanchard and was originally published in The Cortland Voice.
CORTLAND, N.Y. — Cortland Beer Company has obtained a license from New York State and is in the process of distilling its own brand of Vodka, Whisky and Brandy, the company’s owners announced Friday.
The spirits are expected to take about two years to age and mature, producing what will be designated as a “Straight Malt Whisky” and “Apple Brandy,” according to co-owner Dan Cleary.
“Due to cost considerations, many new distillers circumvent this aging process by producing a faster maturing whiskey using 5, 10, or 15 gallon barrels, which, as a result of the increased surface area of the wood, can result in a harsher, woody tasting whiskey or brandy,” Cleary said. “Cortland Distillers is forgoing this ‘quick release method’ of their whiskey in order to produce a more mature, richer tasting product, and is instead focusing on their Vodka, which does not require any aging/maturation.”
The company’s vodka, which is made from New York barley, will be showcased Oct. 28 during the brewery’s Halloween party on Friday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m.
The distilling company hopes to have its Vodka for sale in retail stores in time for the Christmas season.
CBC’s 200-gallon Whisky still was designed and built using a repurposed beer tank with the help of several local crafstsmen, Cleary said. A smaller, 20-gallon still was designed and built to rectify their vodka, which will be served in their tap room along with their current lineup of crafted beers and local wines.
The brewery’s Malt Whiskey will be made from locally grown and malted barley. Its apple Brandy will be made from locally pressed, fermented and distilled cider. Both will be aged in new 30-gallon charred white oak barrels.