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Finger Lakes Distilling NewsletterOctober 2011
In This Issue
Expansion update
Harvest party
New stuff
In case you missed it...
Cocktail Ideas
Quick Links


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Upcoming Tastings and Events




Wednesday, October 26
GCP Liquors
5-8 pm

Monday, November 7:
67 Wine
4-7 pm

Tuesday, November 8:
Whiskey Tuesdays
9 p.m.

Friday, November 11:
NY Wine & Spirits Tasting
Exit 9 Wine & Liquors
3-7 pm

Saturday, November 12:
NY Wine & Spirits Mega-Tasting
Union Square Wines
2-5 pm

Saturday, November 12:
TEDx Chemung River
Elmira Heights

Sunday, November 13:
Lisa's Liquor Barn
1-4 pm

Thursday, November 17:
2300 Degrees
Corning Museum of Glass
5:30-7:30 pm

Friday, November 18:
Northside Wine & Spirits
4-7 pm

Saturday, November 26:
Park Manor Wine & Spirits
1-5 pm

Saturday, December 3:
Bottles & Corks
2-5 pm

Thursday, December 8:
Marketview Liquor
3-6 pm

Saturday, December 10:
Triphammer Wine & Spirits
3-6 pm

Sunday, December 11:
Lisa's Liquor Barn
1-4 pm

Thursday, December 15:
Lighthouse Wines & Spirits
4-7 pm

Thursday, December 15:
GCP Wine & Liquors
4-7 pm

Friday, December 16:
Wright's Beverages
Watkins Glen
4-6 pm

Thursday, December 22:
Century Wine & Spirits
4-7 pm

Friday, December 23:
Northside Wine & Spirits
4-7 pm

Please come out to see us!

New Products


The latest product from Brooklyn Brine is an unbelievable twist on the classic Bread & Butter pickle. Their Maple Bourbon Bread & Butters are now available in our tasting room for $9/jar.    


pickles bread and butter  






Dear Friend of FLD,    

The month got started with a great write-up in Saveur, one of the top culinary magazines in the U.S. Business has been solid, expansion is underway, and we continue to have fun making spirits and hosting people at the Distillery. Life is good at FLD.

We've been maintaining the status quo with our product line over the past several months, but that is all about to change. We've got a new whiskey in the works, as well as a grape liqueur and new batches that are sure to please.

Jenny and I spent a few days in Chicago last month and are getting some nice exposure in the Illinois market. Thanks to everyone that came out to the Indy Spirits Expo at Bottom Lounge. We're excited to have a presence in both IL and NJ, as well as our 350+ locations throughout NYS.

If you can make it to the Finger Lakes in the next few weeks, do it. You can't beat our region this time of year - the smell of grapes, changing leaves, and the hustle and bustle of people enjoying our great local wines...and spirits.

Best regards,
Brian McKenzie
President, Finger Lakes Distilling  


distributionUpdate on new facility   


  construction 1 


We've broken ground on our new building! Site work is nearly complete and we've poured our retaining wall. The new facility will be primarily used for storage, though we also plan on moving our bottling operation into the building.  


Our contractor, Finger Lakes Construction, will start framing in another week or so. The new space (roughly 2,650 sq ft) will open up our existing production area so that we can add some new fermentation tanks and continue to increase our production. 


We hope to finish construction before the end of this year.  


construction 2 






pickingGetting our grape-pick on  


  harvest 1

 (Our crew just getting started on a beautiful fall morning on Seneca Lake)


It's been a challenging year for grape growers in the Finger Lakes this year. Fortunately, our 100 year old Concord and Niagara vines held up just fine!


Although our Estate grapes don't hold much value with the trend toward Vinifera, we like to utilize them as much as possible. This year, we've decided to produce a grape liqueur.   


harvest 2  

(L to R, FLD employees: Jerry, Brian F, and Tom inspect the grapes before going into our crusher) 


We harvested last week with employees, family and good friends. It was a beautiful morning and we hand picked about 500 lbs of grapes in just over 3 hours. Thanks to all that came out and helped.


 lucie harvest

 Two of our more productive workers take a break for the camera 





newproductsNew products on the way  


Lot's of good stuff from FLD coming out in the next month or so, just in time for the holidays.


We're really excited to have our first batch of McKenzie Pure Pot Still whiskey ready for the bottle. This whiskey is similar to an Irish-style whiskey, a little sweetness and incredibly smooth. It will be bottled at 80 proof, lower than our standard of 91 proof. It has more flavor than most of the commercial Irish offerings, but is just as smooth. The mash bill is roughly 90% unmalted barley with the remainder being malted barley. We anticipate the release to be mid-November.


This year's harvest will yield our first batch of grape liqueur. It will be made in the same style as our other liqueurs - very natural and not too syrupy sweet. It will be packaged similarly, as well. Our local artist, Amy Colburn, joined us for the harvest and created a beautiful painting for the label.


grape label 


We've also released several new batches of our existing line-up including Bourbon and Wildberry Vodka (best batch yet - you'll get a lot more fruit...the raspberry really pops!). We're also doing another batch of Riesling Grappa that will be available in the next week or two.  







incaseIn case you missed it....

One of the highlights of our month, was seeing FLD so prominently mentioned in Rebecca Barry's article, "Whiskey Rebellion" in the October issue of Saveur Magazine. The article mentions a McKenzie Rye-based cocktail the author tried at our Kentucky Derby party, Thomas Earl's roots in liquor-making, and had some nice things to say about our line of whiskies.

We continue to get a lot of interest in our Glen Thunder Corn Whiskey. Tasting Panel magazine did a feature on white whiskies, "Without a Barrel". Brian was quoted on some of the suggested ways to consume corn whiskey and Glen Thunder got a favorable review.

Glen Thunder was also reviewed in the latest issue of Malt Advocate. Out of 13 white whiskies reviewed, Lew Bryson ranked our corn as #4. His official tasting notes: "Crisps the nose hairs a bit, but it's pure corn, even a bit of cornbread. Tip a sip in, and it's nothing but more green corn, sweet, fresh - hot, for sure, but not overwhelming - and pretty tasty for what it is. With white whiskey, we're walking the fine line between flavor and raw wound at all times, and this one finds the line."

Brooklyn Brine was featured in an episode of Modern Marvels on the History Channel. The piece highlighted the production of the now famous Whiskey Sour pickles and even featured a bottle shot of our McKenzie Rye that goes into the brine. Brooklyn Brine also discussed our unique relationship as pickle-maker and whiskey factory in a recent blog post.


  cocktailsCreative Cocktails



Seeing the harvesters run up and down Rte. 414 has us thinking grape and wine-based cocktails this month. We made the following with grape juice produced from our own Concord grapes...     

 Concord Cocktail

concord cocktail

2 oz. Seneca Drums Gin
2 oz. Concord Grape Juice
0.5 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
Dash Simple Syrup (depending on sweetness of grape juice)
3-4 dashes Fee Bros Orange Bitters
Lemon peel for garnish 


Shake top 5 ingredients over ice. Strain over large ice cube or into martini glass. Garnish with lemon peel.




New York Sour 

ny sour

1.75 oz. McKenzie Rye Whiskey
  0.75 oz. lemon juice
  0.75 oz. simple syrup
0.75 oz. dry red wine (from the Finger Lakes, of course)
1 orange half-wheel
1 brandied cherry 

Shake the rye, lemon and simple with ice.  Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass, float the wine on top and garnish with the orange and cherry.   

And if you're looking for something tasty to munch on with these cocktails, try some Maplejack-roasted Pumpkins Seeds (coat fresh seeds with butter, salt, Maplejack liqueur, sugar and cinnamon
 and bake in oven at 400 degrees)

pumpkin seeds  


Please send us your ideas for cocktails using our products. With your permission, we may feature your cocktail in a future newsletter. If selected, we'll send you an FLD hat or T-shirt.

Want to know more about our spirits? Just visit
Our Products for details and tasting notes on our gin, vodka, whiskey, brandy, fruit liqueurs and other products.