Sons of Liberty Spirits Company, South Kingstown RI

We have to expand our goal now to include the state of Rhode Island. Megan’s sister Sam’s boyfriend Dustin lives in Newport and there are several places right there. Well, everything is close in Rhode Island (true story. Megan went to school down there).

We had Sam and Dustin show us the “local” places…

Our first stop- Son’s of Liberty Spirits Company. Sam and Dustin had been there before, and really enjoyed the tour and tasting. Hence, our first Rhode Island stop.

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 One of the reasons they started Sons of Liberty was to make good whiskey that other people aren’t making. They started the tour off by saying ‘What do you think of when I say American whiskey?’ Most people think of bourbons and Tennesee whiskey.

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Then he says ‘What do you think of when I say single malt whiskey?’ Most people think of Scotch, made in Scotland of course. ‘So why don’t American whiskey companies make single malt scotch?’ Well, Sons of Liberty does, and it’s really good. And they pose for pictures.

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Another question they had when they started thier distillery is why don’t people make seasonal whiskey? Some places make flavored whiskey, mostly honey, but why not make seasonal whiskey like seasonal beers. When we were their they had a Summer Hopped Whiskey and a fall Pumpkin Spiced Whiskey, which won the American Distilling Institutes’ world’s best flavored whiskey.

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 In order to make whiskey you have to make a distillers beer first. We didn’t know that! Then you distill it into whiskey.

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Distillers beer in the tank

 

All the distillers beer start with the same grains and then you add different malts.

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4 tanks of distillers beer

There are no hops used in distillers beers, they are added later.

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the still

Distilling too high strips the flavor, a lower distilling point keeps the beer flavor.

 

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Lots of inspirational t-shirts

They use mostly the heart of the whiskey. This is mostly what comes out in the middle of the distilling process. They put the heart of the whiskey in stainless steel barrels with a ton of oak staves from the barrels. This kick starts the barrel flavoring process. All sides of the oak now touch the whiskey instead of just one side. Then they barrel age the whiskey for a shorter period of time.

 

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Uprising
American Single Malt Whiskey born from a stout beer
This has a smokey and oakey flavor, really good, really smooth taste. Mark bought a bottle and shared it with several people, including an expensive scotch drinker, and he really liked it as well.

 

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Battle Cry
American Single Malt Whiskey born from a belgium beer
Smoother but less smokey and oakey. Megan like this better, less of a harsh taste to her

 

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Pumpkin Spice Flavored Whiskey – Fall Seasonal Release
Pumpkin spiced, not overbearing flavor, generally favorable among us. Sam wanted a little more pumpkin flavor. This didn’t hold up quite as well against the first two because they were so good, thought Mark. Won the World’s Best Flavored Whiskey by Whiskey Magazine.

 

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Hop Flavored Whiskey – Summer Seasonal Release
Born from an IPA
Not as flavorful, Sam liked it. Mark was really excited for this one, but same as the one above. The taste just didn’t quite compare to Uprising and Battle Cry because they were so good.

 

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Loyal 9 Vodka
Really smooth, really good, not much flavor but no bite at all. They say they distill it 99 times because they just keep sending it through the still over and over again.

 

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Loyal 9 Vodka – Mint Cucumber
First Seasonal Vodka – Summer Release
More mint than cucumber, very interesting flavor. Good for a mojito.

 

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Loyal 9 Vodka – Dark Chocolate Vanilla Bean
Winter Seasonal Release
Good flavor. Mix with coffee syrup and whole milk

 

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The bartender wasn’t talking a lot, there were about 30 people at the bar tasting so he was really busy. When we did asked questions he answered them and gave us lots of info.

 

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Tours & Tastings

$10 Includes Tasting Glass

Saturdays every half hour between 12 and 3:30pm
Fridays 4:30-7:30pm (Self-guided tours)

Earth Eagle Brewings

picstitch (18)Mark and I visited Earth Eagle Brewings, located in Portsmouth NH as part of the Granite State Growler Tour (see here for our post on the tour as a whole!).

When we walked into Earth Eagle Brewings, we were greeted by Butch, one of two brewers. picstitch (14) He walked us through A&G Homebrew Supply, which provides supplies for local home brewers. In A&G, the four main ingredients to make beer were gone over- water, grain, hops and yeast. We were each able to feel, smell and taste some malted barley.picstitch (13)Hops help to change the flavor of the beer, making it taste fruity or nutty. Yeast is added, and produces alcohol.

Process: In the one barrel brewery, the beer moves from the hot liquor tank to the mash tank. The sugars are pulled out, and the liquid goes to the boil kettle. The left over spent grain then goes to a farm in Berwick, Maine. The liquid is then cooled from 212 degrees Fahrenheit to 65-70 degrees via a plate chiller. The beer then enters a fermentation room, moves to the refrigerator and then to the tap to be enjoyed.

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Butch explained that Earth Eagle is a one barrel brewery, and the beers are always changing. Earth Eagle Brewings produces empyreal ales made with hops (beer) and un-hopped ales called gruit. Gruits are ales made with herbs, a more traditional style before the use of hops.  Occasionally, they will add herbs to their beer, and hops to their gruits. They try to use fresh, local products when available.

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Following our tour, we enjoyed a tasting. During open hours, anyone can go in and have/buy a 4oz sample, a 32 oz growler or a 64 oz growler.

Our tastings:

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Sage Goose: immediate smell of sage. Smooth herbal sage and gooseberries. No hops. 4.7% ABV. We bought a growler!

Sol Sister: had a familiar flavor, almost of clove. Sweet, woodruff fern, eleuthero root. 5.6% ABV.

Purl the Elder: different flavor. Elder flower and ground ivy. Nice balance and flavor. 6.3% ABV

Diurnal Hoppy Blonde: Hoppy with a smooth finish. Most similiar to other beers, still different but not as different as others. 4.2% ABV

Fur Trapper: My immediate thought- I like this. Oh, it’s a dubbel, no wonder!  Belgian dubbel big bear. Each barrel contained 10 pounds of Belgian candied sugar! 7.1% ABV

Jack Wagon: Spicy nose. Double IPA. Typical, but good. Big Beer, 8.1% ABV

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We didn’t try a beer or gruit here that we didn’t like! One of the great things about us taking home a growler is that we have to go back soon to get a refill and try something new!

Want to visit Earth Eagle Brewings? They are open 7 days a week- Monday-Friday: 4pm-9pm. Saturday: 3pm-9pm and Sunday: 1pm-4pm. Great hours that allow those that work to visit while not on vacation. They are great with posting what is on tap on their facebook page, so check it out if you are curious before you go.