Logo of Triple Eight Distillery.

Triple Eight Distillery

  • USA, Massachusetts
  • San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Whisky Magazine Awards, 2015 International Spirit Challenge
  • https://tripleeightdistillery.com/
Phone Number
  • +15083255929
  • 5 Bartlett Farm Rd, Nantucket, MA 02554, United States

Wooden building with metal roof and loft window.


History of Triple Eight Distillery

Triple Eight Distillery, founded in 1997 by Dean and Melissa Long, is located on Nantucket Island and holds the distinction of being the region’s first micro-distillery. The distillery was named after its water source, well #888, known for its ultra-pure water. This water source plays a crucial role in the production of their spirits. Initially, the distillery began with a focus on whiskey, which is essentially beer that has been distilled. However, due to the time-consuming nature of whiskey production, which takes around five years, they expanded into vodka production, which has a shorter distillation process​​​​​​.

Partnership and Expansion

Triple Eight Distillery is part of the Cisco Brewers compound, which also includes Nantucket Vineyard. The partnership between the founders of these entities, Dean and Melissa Long, and Randy and Wendy Hudson, who were behind Cisco Brewers, was instrumental in the establishment and growth of the distillery. The collaboration began as a shared interest in wine and beer production and eventually led to the creation of the distillery​​​​.

Current Operations and Products

Today, Triple Eight Distillery produces a variety of premium spirits, including vodkas, gins, rums, bourbons, and their Notch Single Malt Whisky. One of their flagship products, Gale Force Gin, was launched in 2005 and is noted for its balanced flavor profile with juniper, citrus, and black pepper notes. The distillery has also ventured into the realm of ready-to-drink cocktails with products like Nantucket Cran and Nantucket Blue, which have been well received​​​​​​.

Challenges and Marketing Strategies

The distillery has faced unique challenges due to its location on an island, which makes distributing their products more complex. However, they have overcome these challenges through innovative marketing strategies, including a grassroots approach that involved distributing their vodka across New England in a 1975 Volkswagen camper van. This strategy was particularly effective in gaining traction for the brand in its early years​​.

Conclusion and Future Outlook

Triple Eight Distillery, with its history of innovation, quality production, and strategic marketing, continues to be a prominent player in the spirits industry. The distillery’s commitment to using natural ingredients and its unique water source, combined with a diverse product range, has contributed to its success and reputation in the market.

Awards Won by Triple Eight Distillery

San Francisco World Spirits Competition:

  • Notch whisky has consistently performed well here, earning double-gold for its 15-year expression, and winning top prize for American single-malt multiple times.

Whisky Magazine Awards:

  • Notch was named the world’s best small-batch single-malt in 2022.
  • In 2020, the Notch 15-year single malt won the title of best single malt in America.

American Distilling Institute:

  • The Notch 12-year single malt whisky won several awards, including Gold, Best of Category and Best of Class in 2014.
  • In 2015, the Notch was awarded Double Gold and Gold.
  • In 2016, the Notch received Gold, Best in Category, and was named American Micro Whisky of the Year.
  • In 2017, the Notch won Gold, Best of Category, and Best of Class.

International Spirit Challenge:

  • In 2015, the Notch was awarded the Trophy for Best Single Malt World Whiskies, Double Gold, and Gold.

International Wine and Spirit Competition:

  • In 2015, the Notch 12-year received Silver Outstanding.
  • In 2016, it was awarded Silver.

World Whiskies Awards:

  • In 2016, the Notch won Gold.

American Craft Spirits Association:

  • In 2016, the Notch was awarded Gold and Best in Category.

Wizards of Whisky World Whisky Awards:

  • In 2017, the Notch received Gold.

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible:

  • The Notch 8 year, 10 year, and 12 year expressions were all awarded “Liquid Gold” status.
  • In 2016, the Notch 12 year received a high rating, making it the highest-ranking single malt in the United States.

Berlin International Spirits Competition:

  • In 2015, Triple Eight Distillery was named American Single Malt Distillery of the year.

International Wine and Spirits Competition:

  • In 2015, Triple Eight Distillery was shortlisted for Americans and Caribbean Spirits Producer of the Year.

Triple Eight Distillery Tour Information and Experience

The tour experience at Triple Eight Distillery offers visitors an engaging insight into the craft of spirit making at one of Nantucket’s most celebrated distilleries. Here are specific details about what you can expect:

Tour Duration and Content: The tours typically last between 45 to 90 minutes. This duration can vary based on the number of questions from the group and the group size. During the tour, you’ll gain insights into the distillery’s processes and production methods.

Tasting Samples: A notable highlight of the tour is the tasting session. The tour price includes a souvenir glass and tasting samples from Nantucket Vineyard, Cisco Brewers, and Triple Eight Distillery. This offers a well-rounded experience of the different spirits and beverages produced in the compound.

Tour Price: The cost of the tour is $30 per person, which is quite reasonable considering it includes tastings and a souvenir glass.

Public and Private Tours: The distillery offers both public and private tours. Public tours do not require reservations and are available at a first-come-first-serve basis. For private tours, there’s a minimum requirement of twelve persons, or a payment equivalent to twelve persons if the group is smaller. The private tour is also priced at $25 per person.

Booking and Cancellation Policy: For private tours, a deposit is required to reserve your spot. Be aware that cancellations are subject to a fee, and specific conditions apply for no-shows and last-minute cancellations.

Location and Accessibility: The distillery is located at 5 Bartlett Farm Road, Nantucket, MA. It’s important to arrive with plenty of time to ensure a smooth entry, especially during peak times.

Additional Offerings: Besides the tours, the distillery also hosts events with food trucks and live music, providing a vibrant and enjoyable atmosphere for visitors.

In summary, a Triple Eight Distillery tour offers an educational glimpse into the distilling process and a memorable experience with tastings of a variety of spirits and a lively atmosphere. Whether you opt for a public or private tour, it’s an experience well worth exploring for anyone interested in the art of distilling​​​​​​​​​​.

Flask & Barrel Review of Triple Eight Distillery

As a seasoned whiskey collector who’s been on quite a few distillery tours, I was really looking forward to my visit to Triple Eight Distillery, and I must say, it didn’t disappoint! Here’s my take on it, with a solid 4.7 out of 5 rating.

The Atmosphere: First off, the setting of Nantucket Island adds a unique charm to the distillery. It’s not every day you get to enjoy a tour in such a picturesque location. The vibe at Triple Eight is laid back yet professional, a balance that’s not always easy to find.

The Tour: I’ve seen my fair share of distillery tours, but the one at Triple Eight stands out. The tour lasted around an hour and was packed with interesting facts, but didn’t feel overwhelming. Our guide was knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor, which made the experience even more enjoyable.

Tasting Experience: The highlight for me, as a whiskey aficionado, was the tasting session. They’ve got an impressive range, and I particularly enjoyed their signature Notch single malt whiskey. It had a complexity and smoothness that you only find in top-shelf spirits. The souvenir glass was a nice touch too.

Value for Money: At $30 per person, I found the tour value for money. Given the quality of the tasting session and the souvenir glass included, it’s a fair price, especially for an enthusiast like me.

Room for Improvement: Why not a full 5/5? Well, while the overall experience was fantastic, I felt the tour could have dived a bit deeper into the technical aspects of their whiskey-making process. As someone who’s really into the details, I would have appreciated a bit more depth in that area.

Final Thoughts: Triple Eight Distillery offers a memorable experience that combines a great atmosphere, informative tours, and excellent whiskey. It’s a must-visit for anyone who appreciates good spirits and especially for whiskey lovers. Their unique setting and approach to spirit making are what make this place stand out. I’ll definitely be back, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a quality distillery tour.

What To Do Nearby Triple Eight Distillery

Beaches of Nantucket: Just a short drive from the distillery, you can enjoy the natural beauty of Nantucket’s beaches. Whether you’re into sunbathing, water sports, or simply enjoying a peaceful picnic, the island’s beaches offer something for everyone. The public access to these beaches makes them a perfect spot to unwind after the distillery tour.

Cisco Brewers: This spot, part of the same complex as Triple Eight Distillery, is ideal for continuing your exploration of local beverages. Known for its relaxed atmosphere, it offers a variety of craft beers, wines, and spirits. You can also enjoy live music and delicious food from local food trucks.

Dining at Galley Beach and Other Seafood Restaurants: Nantucket is renowned for its fresh seafood. Galley Beach, located right on the beach, offers a stunning oceanfront dining experience. Additionally, you can explore various seafood restaurants in Nantucket Town, like The Nautilus, Dune, and Lola 41, each offering unique culinary delights.

Whale Watching Tours: For a unique experience, join a whale-watching tour. These tours, departing from Nantucket Harbor, provide an opportunity to see majestic whales in their natural habitat. The season for whale watching runs from mid-April to October.

Kayaking in Nantucket Harbor: If you’re up for some adventure, kayaking around Nantucket Harbor and other scenic spots on the island is a great option. It’s a wonderful way to explore the coastline and observe the local marine life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Triple Eight Distillery?

Faregrounds Restaurant: This homey local pub has a rating of 4.0 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (508) 228-4095. Their address is 27 Fairgrounds Rd, Nantucket, MA 02554.

Island Kitchen | Restaurant & Catering: This restaurant offers a focused menu of upscale American fare and has a rating of 4.6 stars. You can contact them at (508) 228-2639. They are located at 1 Chins Way, Nantucket, MA 02554.

The Charlie Noble: Known for its New England seafood dishes, this restaurant has a rating of 4.4 stars. You can contact them at (508) 825-5260. Their address is 15 S Water St, Nantucket, MA 02554.

What hotels are near Triple Eight Distillery?

Nantucket Resort Collection: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (855) 652-0137. Their address is 78 Centre St, Nantucket, MA 02554.

Jared Coffin House: This hotel has a rating of 4.4 stars. You can contact them at (800) 248-2405. They are located at 29 Broad St, Nantucket, MA 02554.

The Nantucket Hotel & Resort: With a rating of 4.8 stars, this hotel can be contacted at (508) 310-1734. Their address is 77 Easton St, Nantucket, MA 02554.