I love a good craft distillery; I hate a bad craft distillery. Orange County Distiller may be the epitome of everything I have come to hate about the craft movement:
- They have a cute farm in upstate New York and are really stressing the farm-to-bottle thing.
- They are making vodka and gin because you can sell it fast.
- They are using small barrels for their bourbon and aged rye, and tried to explain to me at their stand that seven months in a small barrel in upstate New York is the equivalent of five years in a large barrel. Wrong!!!
- They bottle their products in 375ml apothecary-like bottles, trying to be like another small New York State producer known for good marketing and lesser products.
- They charge way too much.
- On their website they write: “This is what a craft distillery should be.”
- And the only thing that matters… they have a shitty product.
It’s too bad that the craft movement has become overwhelmed with new entrants who are rushing their products to market and diluting the truly good stuff out there. There are some great craft distillers out there, there are some great craft made sourced producers out there as well, but they are now becoming the minority in a field inundated with awful to marginal liquid. There are far more bad “craft” producers out there than quality ones, it’s sad.
Anyway… maybe you can guess how I am going to rate these before I even get to them?
OCD Bourbon Whiskey: sweet and nail polish nose, yet thin palate, honeysuckle, more nail polish and tongue numbing finish. Not enjoyable. Maybe needed another couple years in the barrel? 73/100
OCD Aged Rye: spices and medicinal on the nose with spicy notes and menthol coming in strong on the palate. Mildly less offensive than the Bourbon, but still needs a lot more time in the barrel. 77/100.
The moral of the story is don’t just buy the new craft whiskey at your local liquor store or farmer’s market because the bottle looks cool. Try it, do your research, and be a smart consumer. Everyone hates buying that bottle that sucks and keeping it on your shelf for years, looking at it every day, mocking you for your poor choice. Damn you shitty craft whiskey!