When New York State passed the Farm Distillery Act in 2008, the Catskills got another reason to celebrate when the Catskill Distilling Company opened its doors in 2010 in Bethel, New York, and if the name Bethel seems familiar, it was the home of the iconic 1969 Woodstock festival. We took a drive to the Catskill Distilling Company to take a tour and taste their award-winning product line of The Most Righteous New York State Bourbon Whiskey, Catskill Straight Rye Whiskey, Fearless Straight Wheat Whiskey, The One And Only Buckwheat, Wicked White Whiskey, Curious Gin, Peace Vodka, and Bosco Monte Vecchio Grappa.
Catskill Distilling Company Lawn Sculpture
beautiful, warm and sunny Sunday in late September 2017, we drove to Bethel,
New York to discover the Catskill Distilling Company, and found much more than
we had expected. Located on a large property, a whimsical sign points the
directions to their restaurant the Dancing Cat Saloon, to Woodstock, and to the distillery. An immense
sculpture garden graces the lawn with work by local artists from the Catskills
and Pennsylvania, which is only 10 miles away, and chairs set around a giant
firepit beckon guests to come and sit awhile and soak up the ambience.
description of the Catskill Distilling Company facilities - https://youtu.be/aQ_w90bwuTs.
We met and took a tour of the distillery with Stacy Cohen,
a charming blonde whirlwind of energy who owns the Catskill Distilling Company
with her husband, Dr. Monte Sachs, who was an equine veterinarian before they
decided to make a career change and open the distillery in 2010, becoming the
first distillery to open in New York State. Monte, an American who grew up in
Connecticut, fell in love with the art of distilling during his student days in
Italy where he learned to make traditional Grappa.
Catskill Distilling Company
Returning to the United States to work, his passion for
the art of distillation stayed with him. Like a small snowball at the top of a
mountain that keeps rolling downhill and gaining size, with Stacy and Monte, a
small idea grew from when she first saw a house with beautiful architectural
features that had fallen on hard times, decided to buy it, remodel it, and name
it the Dancing Cat Saloon.
Catskill Distilling Columns
Next, they built the distillery in 2010, and together with
the late world-renowned master distiller Lincoln Henderson
(Brown-Forman, Woodford Reserve, Jack Daniels, and owner of Angel's Envy),
created the recipes that would help define their brand, which has evolved into
an award-winning company.
provide Luxury Experience a behind the scene tour of the distillery, which is pristine
with gorgeous copper pot stills crafted in Germany by Christian and Jacob Carl,
where Monte works his magic to craft small batch artisan spirits. Committed to
taking care of the environment, they use locally grown grains and botanicals in
their products, pristine Catskill Mountain spring water, and the used mash goes
to local farmers to be used as cattle feed.
Edward and Debra in barrel storage room - CHEERS!
We visited the barrel storage area where we wished the
barrels pleasant dreams as they sleep in the aging process, then made our way
to their comfortable tasting room and took our palates on a tasting tour with their
knowledgeable bartender Colin as our "palate tour guide" who guided us through
their small batch artisan product line of The Most Righteous New York State Bourbon Whiskey, Catskill Straight
Rye Whiskey, Fearless Straight Wheat Whiskey, The One And Only Buckwheat,
Wicked White Whiskey, Curious Gin, Peace Vodka, and Bosco Monte Vecchio Grappa. All gorgeous spirits, all sumptuous
palate pleasers, and all named with references to its Woodstock legacy.
Bartender Colin - Catskill Distilling Tasting Room
After our "tasting
tour," we had a delicious lunch in the Dancing
Cat Saloon, where carved cat sculptures by Stacy's mom line the walkway to
the restaurant, and inside, photographs by Stacy's brother Jerry Cohen, grace
the walls. A focal point of the restaurant though is a fabulously whimsical
wood column sculpture with cats playing musical instruments created by the
artist Paul Stark in 2011. As it was a Sunday, there was a Jazz trio to
complement the food. Interesting to note about Stacy Cohen, is that she is a
talented guitarist and singer, and sings with the bands that play there in the
perfect finish to our day at the Catskill Distilling Company, we visited the Stray Cat Gallery which they opened in 2013, and were enthralled with Elliot Landy's photographs, who was the
official photographer at the 1969 Woodstock festival and did album covers for
the Band and Bob Dylan, and with the photographs by Jason Laure another famous band photographer. The gallery is a
treasure trove of art, sculptures, and musician photographs that capture the
essence of the Catskills.
Dancing Cat Saloon - Sculpture
Our original plan was to visit the distillery tour, do a tasting,
and then head home. Loving the Catskill Distilling Company's ambience, we decided
to stay a little longer, have lunch, and soak up the ambience of the sculpture
garden and the gallery. All-in-all, it was a perfect day in the Catskills and
the leaves had not yet begun to don their glorious autumn colors, which
provides us with another excuse (as if we needed one), to return and do it all
over again. This time, we want to time our visit when Stacy will be playing
guitar and singing with one of the bands.
Stray Cat Gallery
Distilling Company spirits are sold at the distillery as well in stores in the
following states thus far, and growing: New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey,
Massachusetts, Maryland, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington, DC. They are also available for purchase online. If
Catskill Distilling Company products are not available at your local
distributor, then ask the proprietor to contact Catskill Distilling
Stray Cat Gallery - Art Display
website for additional information on the Catskill Distilling Company and for stores
where their products are sold, as well as online availability: www.CatskillDistilling.com.
Stray Cat Gallery - Outside Art
Going to be in the Catskills and want to
visit the Catskill Distilling Company?
Catskill Distilling Company - Lawn Sculpture
Distilling Company Distillery is open for tours and tastings daily from noon
until 5:00 pm.
Read about The Most Righteous New York State Bourbon
Whiskey and its Luxury Experience - The Most
Righteous New York State Straight Bourbon Whiskey Taste of New York State Menu in
the Liquor Cabinet section.
If you are
feeling hungry or want to make a day out of your visit, the Dancing
located next door to the distillery serves lunch and dinner, and frequently has
music, with co-owner Stacy Cohen singing with the band.
the artistic feel of the area, another great stop is their Stray
located across the street from the Dancing Cat Saloon.
Directions to Catskill Distilling Company
FROM NYC AND WESTCHESTER:
Thruway (I-87) North to Exit 16 (Harriman). Proceed onto Route 17 (I-86) West
to Exit 104 heading west on Route 17B. Travel approximately 9 miles on Route
17B. The Distillery is on the left.
FROM ALBANY AND MASSACHUSETTS:
Take the NYS
Thruway (I-87) to Exit 19 toward Rt-28/Kingston/Rhinecliff Bridge. Take the 1st
exit onto NY-28 North at the traffic circle. Merge onto uS-209 South toward
Ellenville and travel approximately 38 miles. Turn right onto Route 17 (I-86)
West. Take Exit 104 heading west on Route 17B. Travel approximately 9 miles on
Route 17B. The Distillery is on the left.
FROM NE PA:
river at Callicoon: Turn right on Main Street and go down about two tenths of a
mile to take a left turn onto Route 17B under a viaduct. Route 17B will take a
sharp right after about 5 miles; drive about 1.3 miles up the hill and take a
fork right merging with Rte. 52 for half a mile. There will be a traffic light;
turn left and drive about five miles straight, and the Distillery will be on
river at Cochecton: After coming off the bridge, drive straight for about a
tenth of a mile, then turn left and drive up the hill to the intersection with
Route 97. Turn left on to Route 97 for a short jog of about a tenth of a mile,
then turn almost immediately on a right fork, the Old Newburgh and Cochecton
Turnpike/Co. Rd. 114. Drive 4.7 miles to a traffic light, then keep on straight
about five miles to the Distillery, which will be on your right.
Catskill Distilling Company
2037 Route 17B
Bethel, New York 12720
Monte Sachs and Stacy Cohen
Catskill Distilling Company on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatskillDistillingCo
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