Situated along the banks of the East River in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Kings County Distillery is New York City's oldest operating whiskey distillery and the first distillery in New York City since Prohibition. There, the distillery's founders — Colin Spoelman and David Haskell — hand-craft moonshine and chocolate whiskey.
A typewriter that Spoelman and Haskell found on a sidewalk in Williamsburg is used to make the labels that adorn their clear, flask-shaped bottles, while a hairdryer (made by Revlon) is used to afix each bottle seal. Handwritten scrawls on a chalkboard keep track of different batches, and mesh laundry bags are used as strainers.
Kings County Chocolate Whiskey is made by steeping Kings County Moonshine in artisan cacao husks sourced from the Mast Brothers Chocolate Factory in Brooklyn. The chocolate and moonshine rest together for just over a month, giving the moonshine a deep mahogany color and an aroma of dark chocolate. "It's good for someone who either likes whiskey or chocolate — which includes most people, I guess," says Spoelman. "There's not a whole lot else like it out there." The initial flavors of sweet corn are nicely balanced by the subtle notes of rich, bitter chocolate and give way to a smooth and slightly sweet finish.
"We make enough to supply some of Brooklyn, some of Manhattan and that's about it," Spoelman says. After visiting their distillery, we bamboozled them into sharing some of their juice with the rest of the country. You're welcome.
Make sure to pick up your bottle today!