Manhattan’s first whiskey distillery in over 100 years has opened

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Wisps of smoke cover a glass filled with bourbon whiskey and ice inside a 28,000 square foot whiskey distillery in NoHo.

Great Jones Distilling Co. is the borough’s first and only whiskey distillery since Prohibition, which ended just over 100 years ago.

The four-story distillery, which opened last month, spanned six years and faced many hurdles to get started.

“In order to understand what distillation is in New York City, you have to understand the zoning it takes to be a distillery,” said Andrew Merinoff, 31, project manager of Great Jones Distilling Co. “After a year and a half. of research, we finally landed at 686 Broadway.

Great Jones Distilling Co. Brand Ambassador Esteban Ordonez and Great Jones Distilling Co. Project Manager Andrew Merinoff are seated in New York, NY, USA September 16, 2021. Photo taken September 16, 2021. REUTERS / Roselle Chen
General view of Great Jones Distilling Co. vats of whiskey in New York, NY, United States, September 16, 2021. Photo taken September 16, 2021. REUTERS / Roselle Chen

In the distillery is a 500 gallon jar made by Vendôme.

“The room that this still is locked in is completely explosion-proof,” Merinoff said. “Air can be drawn in in 90 seconds, making it one of the safest stills in the world.”

Although the distillation takes place on site, the aging of the whiskey began at Black Dirt in upstate New York five to six years ago and will continue to be sent to Black Dirt for the aging process.

General view of the permanent immersive installation of Great Jones Distilling Co. in New York, NY, United States, September 16, 2021. Photo taken September 16, 2021. REUTERS / Roselle Chen
Andrew Merinoff, Project Manager of Great Jones Distilling Co., stands inside the Distillery’s sweatshop in New York, NY, USA on September 16, 2021. Photo taken on September 16, 2021. REUTERS / Roselle Chen

“Whiskey is definitely one of the most difficult spirits to make,” said Merinoff. “It’s a labor of love.”

Great Jones Distilling Co. is the brainchild of Juan Domingo Beckmann, Managing Director of Jose Cuervo. The distillery includes a cocktail bar, restaurant, event space and sweatshop.


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