It’s an unaged “moonshine” style whiskey that tastes strongly of corn. The bartender encouraged ordering it because it was happy hour (half off), and Kings County is normally about $11 for a one-ounce pour.
It’s not bad. Compared to the retched Georgia Moon, it’s very smooth and drinkable.
Kings County Distillery, which has received a nice amount of press lately (Edible Brooklyn, New York Magazine, Wired, and others), boasts being the first legal distillery in New York City since Prohibition. It’s a 325-sq.-ft. studio in—where else—Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
It’s run by two guys, who told New York Magazine readers, “Colin [Spoelman] is from a dry county in southeastern Kentucky (moonshine country), and David [Haskell] recently learned that his great-grandfather got through Prohibition making bourbon in his New York basement.” (Haskell actually works for New York Magazine.)
This is a wonderful idea. It’s just the first of what may be many local micro-distilleries (it sounds like four more are getting licensed), and the vanguard in an American booze renaissance.
However, they have an uphill battle because their unaged whiskey is expensive: $19 for a small 200 ml flask. If my math is right, that works out to $75 for a normal, 750 ml size bottle. That’s pretty steep for a concoction made by admitted amateurs.
But according to my bartender at Char No. 4, this is how the Kings County guys are paying for their operation. For now, they sell clear, moonshine-style whiskey while the good stuff is aging in barrels. But it won’t age too long, and the barrels aren’t very big—everything must be done quicker and in smaller quantities—so they can experiment freely and perfect their craft and their recipes. Rumor is that the aged bourbon will be ready by the end of the year.