Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Las Vegas Distillery

A couple of weeks ago I happened to be in Las Vegas with a group of whiskyfriends, and we took the opportunity to visit Las Vegas Distillery

I had been aware of them for a year or so, as they had a website and plans to start a distillery. Recently I also followed them on facebook so I was quite aware the distillery was just about to start distilling.

It's not easy to start a distillery in a state that has no tradition for distilling, and no regulations for it either, but George Racz is about to have done it. George Racz is Hungarian, born in Rumania and has been living in USA less than 10 years. When he and his wife decided they wanted to take a big chance and open a distillery they took the bold decision to open one in Vegas. A city and state with no distilling tradition. It may be very smart to open a distillery in Las Vegas. A world famous city with many tourists should give quite a few chances of interested customers passing by. And it's not like the city lack bars either :-). Probably the best gamble done in Vegas!

We arrived friday noon and George was there to greet us

George Racz talking about his copper angels, the name he has given to his stills

A combo still. Left potstill will be used to double destill whiskey

The stills had just been installed when we visited. Next step was water distilling, and the first spirit to be produced will be vodka. Apart from vodka, other ready spirits like gin will also be produced. The main "problem" for new whiskey distilleries is that it can take a long time for the whiskey to mature, so producing ready spirits can be necesary to have some income...but vodka and gins can be very nice spirits to drink, especially if you don't like whiskey :-)


George told us that he intend to experiment a lot to find out what works out. Bourbons, Ryes, Malt Whiskeys and much more. Even a 7 grain whisky was in the plans (rye, corn, wheat, rice, oat, barley and one more I forgot about!)

Adding to this he will use several sizes of casks. George will experiment a bit with a variety of whiskeys and cask sizes, so I expect a lot of different styles to be produced, let's see how much will get bottled :-)

He plan to have as much as possible grown "locally"...in a farm in northern Nevada. More info about this and a lot of other things on the distillery website, which is a very informative website. I like informative websites. Too many, especially american whiskey websites are sometimes too much myth and too little info.

Not a Porteus, nor Boby :-)

We all thought that George was very pleasant company so we invited him over for a dram!. His good humour and entusiams will put a smile on your face :-)

"I am starting to love my job" George said

You can follow Las Vegas Distillery on facebook. I find it exciting to follow the daily do's of an upstarting distillery from the other side of the globe!

I am also excited to follow the distillery in the years to come. I am sure I will get around Las Vegas again and will for sure go around Las Vegas Distillery everytime. It is located in Henderson, in the eastern part of Las Vegas, half the way out to the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. I really hope the Nevada laws will make it possible for Las Vegas Distillery to open a shop on the premises and allow guests a wee tasting. It will make a lot of difference for us travelling whisky tourists :-)

And if you're there on a saturday they might be having a bottling party!

My good luck and best wishes to George and the Las Vegas Distillery

I hope he makes some rye whiskey in one of his quartercasks, should be bottle ready quite fast (on the relative scale of time to mature whisky)

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