Madison: Discovering Gin at State Line Distillery
State Line Distillery recently opened in Madison. The distillery currently has vodka, gin and a coffee liqueur on the market with apple brandy and whiskey coming in 2020.
We also got to taste the aquavit they’re working on.
State Line’s master distiller, John Mleziva, also founded the distillery. He has a masters in brewing and distilling from Scotland. My ears perked up when he mentioned it as I know very few people have that degree.
As I walked around the large and clean facility, it became evident how passionate John was about spirits.
What I found fascinating about all the distilleries we visited in Madison were they had bars attached. Some states have some very strict laws about how much you can taste and it’s even rarer to be able to buy bottles from the distillery. That’s thanks to the three tier system we have (distillers sell to distributors who sell to both retail and bars/ restaurants). However, not only can you purchase directly from the distiller, you can even hang out with a cocktail!
We sat down to a casual tasting starting with the vodka. I really liked the label design. It was very elegant and reminded me of something I’d see at a high end store like Williams Sonoma.
While most new distilleries put out white spirits to make some profit as their brown spirits age, State Line actually has an enjoyable vodka though it was the gin I really like. I later would remember to order drinks with their gin in Madison.
Sadly we had to bounce to our next destination but not before we tried a couple of cocktails. I really enjoyed the old fashioned-like Kin Kin Minas with the State Line vodka and coffee liqueur. If you like drinks with a buzz, this one is for you.
At first I was a little put off by the chile oil floating in the Pajaro Pepino but it really works. It was spicy without being overwhelming and also refreshing enough so even spice wimps can handle it.
Kin Kin Minas – State Line vodka, State Line coffee liqueur, cacao nibs
Pajaro Pepino – State Line gin, cucumber, seltzer, chile oil
I look forward to seeing the aged spirits hit the market. We got to sample the whiskey which is still being aged and it shows a lot of heart and promise.
© 2018 The Minty
Thanks to Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau for the opportunity to check out Madison!