Van Brunt Stillhouse logo, Brooklyn, NY.

Van Brunt StillHouse

  • USA, New York
  • World Whiskies Awards 2017, he Fifty Best Awards 2016
Phone Number
  • +17188876012
  • 6 Bay St Fl. 1, Brooklyn, NY 11231, United States

Copper distillation apparatus in modern distillery

History of Van Brunt Stillhouse

Founding and Prohibition Era

Van Brunt Stillhouse, located in Brooklyn, New York, is named after Cornelius Van Brunt, one of the founding fathers of the neighborhood. This distillery signifies a revival of the distilling culture in Brooklyn, a tradition that had vanished since the Prohibition era. During the 1800s, Brooklyn was renowned for its distilleries and spirit merchants. However, the introduction of Prohibition laws in January 1920 halted the production and sale of alcohol, effectively ending the thriving local industry.

Revival in the 21st Century

The distillery was established in 2012 by Daric Schlesselman, a former Emmy-nominated editor of The Daily Show and a descendant of Midwestern farmers. Van Brunt Stillhouse is situated in the historic Red Hook district of Brooklyn. This revival of distilling in the area represents a broader resurgence in consumer interest in quality, small-scale production over mass-produced products.

The Distillery Today

Van Brunt Stillhouse stands out for its commitment to quality and creativity in distilling. The distillery prides itself on using grains sourced from upstate New York farms, emphasizing the use of natural and specialty malts to create distinctive flavors.

Their product lineup includes a range of whiskeys, vodka, and rum that are notable for their unique taste profiles. The distillery’s first product was a rum called Due North, making it unique at the time for being the only rum producer in Kings County. However, Schlesselman’s primary focus is on whiskey, which is the mainstay of their production.

Tasting Notes and Visitor Information

The distillery offers a variety of whiskeys, each with its unique characteristics. For example, their Stillhouse Rye is distilled from 75% New York rye and 25% malted barley and aged in small American oak casks. The rye is light, bright, and spicy with a sweet-tart note and undertones of charred creme brulee and toasted rye bread with jam. The distillery has a public tasting room and plans to enhance its street presence with additional features.

Van Brunt Stillhouse exemplifies the modern craft distillery movement, blending traditional methods with innovative approaches to produce spirits that reflect both quality and a distinct sense of place.

Awards Won by Van Brunt Stillhouse

World Whiskies Awards 2017: Van Brunt Stillhouse received the award for Best Standard Design for their Single Malt Whisky.

The Fifty Best Awards 2016: The distillery’s American Single Malt Whiskey was awarded a Gold medal.

Van Brunt Stillhouse Tour Information and Experience

Tour Schedule and Availability

Van Brunt Stillhouse offers tours every Saturday, with start times every hour from 1 pm to 6 pm. This schedule provides ample opportunity for visitors to select a convenient time to explore the distillery. The tours are limited to a maximum of 10 people each, ensuring a personalized and comprehensive experience for all guests. This approach allows for a more in-depth interaction with the guides, fostering a better understanding of the distilling process and the unique qualities of the Stillhouse.

Insight into the Production Process

The tour at Van Brunt Stillhouse is not just a walkthrough but an educational journey through the art of distilling. Visitors gain firsthand knowledge about how their whiskies are crafted. The tour covers everything from the initial selection of grains, through the intricate processes of distillation, to the final stages of aging. This detailed exploration into the production process helps visitors appreciate the craftsmanship and dedication involved in creating each bottle of whiskey.

Tasting Experience

An integral part of the Van Brunt Stillhouse tour is the tasting session. Tour attendees have the unique opportunity to sample four of the distillery’s flagship whiskies. Additionally, a Distiller’s Edition limited release is also included in the tasting, offering a rare experience of unique flavors. This tasting not only serves as a delightful experience but also educates visitors on the distinct characteristics and profiles of various whiskies.

Pricing and Offers

The tour is priced at $20, which includes a significant value addition – a $10 discount on any bottle purchase. This offer is an excellent incentive for visitors who wish to take home a memento of their experience or a bottle of their newly found favorite whiskey from the Stillhouse. It makes the tour not only an educational experience but also a rewarding one for enthusiasts looking to expand their collection.

Location and Accessibility

Located at 6 Bay Street in Brooklyn, NY, Van Brunt Stillhouse is conveniently situated for locals and tourists alike. The distillery’s location in the vibrant neighborhood of Red Hook adds to the charm of the visit, embedding the tour within the rich cultural and historical context of Brooklyn.

Tasting Room and Cocktail Bar

In addition to the tours, the Stillhouse features a tasting room and cocktail bar, which are open from Friday to Sunday. The tasting room is known for its convivial atmosphere and offers a diverse range of craft spirits. As highlighted by sources like Grub Street, it has evolved into a popular local bar. The cocktail bar provides a relaxing environment to enjoy various spirits crafted in the Stillhouse, making it a perfect spot to conclude the tour.

Flask & Barrel Review of Van Brunt Stillhouse

As a whiskey collector who has toured numerous distilleries, I have to say my visit to Van Brunt Stillhouse was impressive, deserving a solid 4.7 out of 5.

First off, the tour schedule was super convenient, available every hour on Saturdays. It’s a small group setup, which I prefer because it feels more intimate and you can really engage with the guide. They know their stuff, and I appreciated how they walked us through the entire distillation process. As someone who’s seen quite a few distilleries, I can say they have a unique approach, especially with their use of specialty malts.

The tasting part was the highlight for me. Trying their flagship whiskies plus a Distiller’s Edition was a treat. Their flavors are distinct, and you can tell they put a lot of thought into their craft. I was particularly impressed with the complexity of the single malt.

Now, the price of the tour being $20 is reasonable, especially since you get a $10 discount on any bottle purchase. It’s a nice touch that makes you feel you’re getting more value out of the experience.

Location-wise, it’s in Brooklyn, easy to get to, and the area has its own charm. The Stillhouse has a cool, laid-back vibe, which I really liked. The tasting room and cocktail bar are great spots to chill after the tour. They’ve got a good selection, and the atmosphere is quite inviting.

My only slight critique, and the reason for the 4.7 rating, is that while the tour was informative, I’ve been on others that went a bit deeper into the technical aspects of whiskey-making. But that’s just me being a bit of a whiskey nerd.

What To Do Nearby Van Brunt Stillhouse

Empire State Building (8.58km away): A staple of the NYC skyline, offering breathtaking views and a historical journey through its observatory.

The Museum of Modern Art (10.15km away): Home to an extraordinary collection of modern and contemporary art including works by Picasso and Warhol.

Top of The Rock (9.84km away): Offers stunning views of the city, a must-visit for a complete NYC experience.

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt (9.2km away): Known for its unique ambiance and captivating installations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Van Brunt Stillhouse?

The Soul Spot: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them on their phone at (718) 596-9933 for reservations. Their address is 302 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

Table 87: This restaurant has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, their contact number is (718) 965-8400. You can find them at 473 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215.

Lemongrass Brooklyn: It boasts a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them at (718) 522-9728 for reservations. Their location is 156 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

What hotels are near Van Brunt Stillhouse?

NU Hotel Brooklyn: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (718) 852-8585. Their address is 85 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

The Lodge Red Hook: This hotel has a rating of 4.1 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, their contact number is (718) 675-5200. You can find them at 17 Seabring St, Brooklyn, NY 11231.

Hilton Brooklyn New York: It boasts a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them at (718) 834-8800 for reservations. Their location is 140 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201.