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Best Distillery
by
Terry Sullivan

Best DistillerySummary: The newly opened artisan distillery in Elizabeth, Indiana offers tours of the production area as well as tastings. The distillery offers several unique distilled spirits to taste. The distillery production area is just a few feet beyond the winery and distillery tasting room.

The grand opening of Best Distillery was in June 2017. The distillery is a new business venture for Wilbert Best. Having established a winery on the property, Wilbert’s next venture was the distillery.

New legislation has enabled Indiana wineries to produce a full array of distilled products in addition to distilled products made from grapes. As an avenue to diversify the winery business, Wilbert Best added a distillery. Wilbert spoke to us about some of his decisions.

Wilbert mentioned that many distillers begin with a 150-gallon still. In comparing size and cost, Wilbert discovered that he could double the capacity of the still without doubling the cost. Further math and perseverance resulted in purchasing a 600-gallon still. With this capacity, Wilbert can produce several different spirits. According to Wilbert, Best Distillery is now the third largest distillery in Indiana. Wilbert can produce 150-gallons of vodka daily.

Best DistilleryDuring our distillery tour, we saw the cooker, pot still and several columns. The still has a stainless steel base and copper top. The columns are mostly stainless steel, although one section in one of the columns is made of copper. Connected to the still is a computer-like box. Wilbert can acquire temperatures from various sections of the still by looking at the screen on this box. High tech has come to distilling. Wilbert can computer control the cooker and still. He said, “Technology is your friend.” At the same time he also emphasized the importance of safety at the distillery. He commented that even though it would be possible to use technology to control the distill process while he is away from the distillery, it is important to be at the distillery to monitor everything.

Spirits

We tasted the spirits at the tasting counter in the winery/distillery tasting room. Spirits enthusiasts can taste five spirits for $5.00 per person. At the time of our visit there was moonshine, limoncello, orangecello, vodka and white rum. Cocktails are also made.

The Limoncello was 60 proof (30% alcohol). This yellow colored spirit had a lemon aroma and taste. It was extremely smooth and silky in the mouth. There was little heat on the finish and the spirit had a long aftertaste.

The Blackberry Moonshine was 40 proof (20% alcohol). It had a transparent ruby color with a dark pink hue. Both aroma and taste offered blackberries. The spirit was very velvety in the mouth with no alcohol heat. It had a fruity long aftertaste.

Best DistilleryThe Orangecello was 60 proof (30% alcohol). It had a gold color and an intense orange aroma. The taste was reminiscent of oranges and orange rind. It was smooth in the mouth with a bit of heat. The spirit had a long orange aftertaste.

Wilbert is crafting many delicious spirits. Stop by the tasting room and discover the spirits and cocktails that he has. You can enjoy them in the tasting room or just outside the tasting room on a spacious deck.

Best Distillery
8373 Morgans Lane SE
Elizabeth, Indiana 47117

GPS: N38º 09.0267’ W85º 58.1246’

Related article: Best Vineyards

 

Article written August 2017.



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Copyright: Terry and Kathy Sullivan 2016