Bartenders Tell Us Which Distilleries To Visit This Winter


The fall and winter just seem to leave us lusting for travel. Earlier, we wrote about road tripping to breweries during these colder months. This week, we direct our attention to beer’s higher-alcohol-content sibling — liquor.

The United States is dotted with distilleries. Just like the craft brewing boom gave birth to countless breweries across the country, the craft distilling boom has done the same. Wherever you live, there’s sure to be a small, medium, or giant distillery just waiting for you discover.

In order to figure out which direction to point our cars (or where to fly to), we asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us the best distilleries to visit this season.

Jack Daniel’s

Don Hernandez, beverage director at Holston House in Nashville

“My favorite distillery to visit is Jack Daniels in Lynchburg, Tennessee. This is a huge operation that produces almost a barrel of whiskey a minute. In doing so, it employs many people within the community.

“All the whiskey is produced in one facility, and the grounds are beautiful. The tour is very informative, and there is a rich sense of history and pride. Pro tip: make sure to reserve a seat at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House for a family style meal that shares the tradition of southern hospitality.”

Leopold Brothers

Jared Boller, lead mixologist at The St. Regis in Toronto

“Leopold Bros Distillery in Denver, CO. It is a family owned operator (two brothers) who have been making an array of beautiful spirits for almost 20 years. Some of the products coming out of their brand new build distillery can compete with any in the world. They pay attention to every detail and have brought the art of distillery to another level.”

Rhine Hall

David Mor, beverage director at Cindy’s in Chicago

“What’s the best distillery for booze fans to visit? If in Chicago, you can’t go wrong with a local house like Rhine Hall. Creating beautiful expressions of locally-sourced fruit brandies, their understanding of what Chicagoans love to drink is impeccable.”