Interview: Colin Spoelman (Distiller and Author of Dead Distillers)

A casual chat between two whiskey history buffs. And Colin is not just an author, he is also the co-founder and distiller at Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn.

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Show Notes

Join me for part one of my discussion with Kings County Distillery's master distiller and co-founder Colin Spoelman. A few years back Colin wrote an intriguing book about American whiskey history called Dead Distillers and we will take the time in this episode to chat a bit about his background as a New York City distiller and more including:

  • What has been going on during the pandemic?
  • From Eastern Kentucky to New York City
  • The New York moonshiner
  • Sourcing from the bootlegger
  • Getting started as a distiller
  • The rebirth of the New York distillery industry
  • Getting to know New York whiskey history from the days of New Amsterdam
  • New York and Pennsylvania vs Kentucky
  • The issues with distilleries and immigrants in the 1840s and 50s
  • Dickinson's Alley and the Moonshiners Gunfight
  • The Brooklyn of the distiller and Al Capone
  • Was George Thorpe the first corn whiskey distiller?
  • The first commercial distillery in the New World
  • The charred oak barrel theory
  • The origins of brand
  • How to write about whiskey history without promoting myths?
  • The horror stories of distilleries that led to Dead Distillers
  • Prohibition made me do it!
  • The Schenley Lawrenceburg Indiana connection

Grab a copy of Dead Distillers at whiskey-lore.com/shop or at your favorite bookseller and learn more about Kings County Distillery at kingscountydistillery.com.

Hear part 2 of the interview by becoming a member of the Whiskey Lore Society.


Being transcribed. To be released later this week.

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