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“Malted Barley Barrel Update”

Grand Traverse Distillery
Ranked #12 of 120 things to do in Traverse City
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Grand Traverse Distillery is Michigan's oldest craft distillery and we are family owned. We use 100% locally grown corn, wheat and rye to distill our award winning spirits which include the True North Vodkas [Rye, Wheat, Cherry, Chocolate & Chipotle], Gin, Rum and our Whiskies [Ole George 100% Rye, Bourbon, as well as many small batch specialty ones]. We also offer 100 Proof Michigan White Dog Whiskey We have 5 Tasting Rooms located throughout the state in Traverse City, Frankenmuth, Leland,Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor so you can stop by and have the Grand Traverse Distillery experience and enjoy tastings and cocktails. We also have joint Tasting Rooms with Black Star Farms Winery where you will find both of our products and be able to taste and have a cocktail. Our Main Distillery Tasting Room is open Monday through Saturday 11-a.m. to 5:30-p.m and is closed Sundays. We offer tours 6 days a week at 1:00 pm & 3:00 pm from May 1 through August 31. October 1 through April 30 tours are offered only on Fridays and Saturdays. Cheers, Kent Rabish!
Reviewed July 2, 2013

From my Spirited Spirits posting, here is the lates almost one year later. (2L barrel)

My first batch, bourbon:
. I messed up and anxiously took it out of the barrel early. If you run into this problem, don't panic just call them! Kent was helpful and patient talking me through some options. One thing I did that helped tremendously was going to the local home-brewers beer shop and bought American White Oak (bourbon) Infusion Spirals. My recommendation is to add a bit more wood chips, chunks or spirals to the batch. Repaired with success, a decent bourbon batch.

My second batch, malted barley:
. I took a healthy dose of patience. I would recommend taking a couple doses of patience. You definitely don't want to rush the scotch.
P.S. - The "angels" like their share of the scotch = temperature and storage (especially in the late winter, early spring months is important). I also used the same Oak bourbon Spirals in this batch and took the aging out to 6 months. This batch turned out so good that we sat out last night and had a scotch tasting gathering on the patio. So very relaxing and cool.
One of the most helpful tips I got from Landis, before even starting is; when the scotch batch is ready (or you think it is ready) pour an ounce. Take a sip, add an ice cube if you want. Take another sip, add another ice cube if you want. Repeat as necessary to find the flavor profile you enjoy and don't be afraid to let it age longer if needed. i.e.- Don't drain the barrel and add 20%+ water, you will likely ruin it.

One last note on "shipping" issues from other reports - The state regulations are straight forward, check what your state allows for incoming and plan accordingly. In various states it is easy, and not overly expensive on flat rate boxes to either mail it to myself or, I pack and claim it while flying and haven't had any issues.

This was a fun and educational process and with patience a wonderfully delicious reward at the end.

Thank cctkMiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent R, Owner at Grand Traverse Distillery, responded to this reviewResponded July 12, 2013

Thanks for taking time to write about your experience with our custom whiskey barrel project. The more people share their ideas the better it is for all. We enjoy helping people select what type of whiskey to take home to age.

cheers

Kent

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Write a ReviewReviews (188)
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"cherry vodka"
in 31 reviews
"tasting room"
in 21 reviews
"true north"
in 5 reviews
"distilling process"
in 4 reviews
"educational tour"
in 3 reviews
"distilled spirits"
in 2 reviews
"double barrel"
in 2 reviews
"stayed late"
in 2 reviews
"bloody mary"
in 3 reviews
"retail stores"
in 2 reviews
"personal tour"
in 4 reviews
"brought home"
in 3 reviews
"pure michigan"
in 2 reviews
"fun experience"
in 3 reviews
"great tour"
in 6 reviews
"visit traverse city"
in 3 reviews
"laid back"
in 2 reviews
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125 - 129 of 188 reviews

Reviewed June 18, 2013

Our first visit was several years ago, when we visit Traverse City we always visit the Distillery. We we were given a tour of the distillery and the process. The staff is always friendly and helpful, when we have questions they always have an answer. When we buy vodka they always have recipes to go along with it. My husband loves the whiskey and bourbon. So we always stock up. It is a must when we visit the city.

Thank jakenjacksmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent R, Owner at Grand Traverse Distillery, responded to this reviewResponded June 21, 2013

Hi Folks
Thanks for coming in to see us again! We enjoy seeing customers who come back each year while on vacation. Hope to have new spirits each year to offer something new. I will be distilling our first batch of gin this Monday and hope to have it in the bottle and in our retail room in a week or two at the most. Our goal is to have something new each year. We just completed a nice rework on our tasting room also, new paint and fixtures.
Hope you had a great trip to TC and look forward to seeing you next year.
Kent

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Reviewed June 3, 2013

We had a little time to waste before a wedding so we decided to make a trip here. It was about 2pm on a Saturday afternoon. We had the place to ourselves. A very nice girl greeted us with a smile and told us about some of the specials they were running on their clothing. Also told us about the tasting they offer. We tryed the cherry vodka and the cherry whiskey. Yum yum.
We could have taken a tour of the distillery, but we didn't. Next time we come we definitely going to.
We are from Michigan and proudly support Michigan companies when ever possible. I wish this company the best! I enjoy a good vodka and I found my new brand here. Thanks.

Thank jenksamp94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
torchlake99, Owner at Grand Traverse Distillery, responded to this reviewResponded June 5, 2013

Hello and thanks for taking the time to post your trip into the distillery! We are glad you had time to stop in and see us on your trip to TC. Next time plan on taking a tour through our production area. It only takes about 15 to 20 min. and we can show you how we take locally grown grains and produce vodka and whiskey with them. Cheers Kent

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Reviewed May 8, 2013

We were the first visitor's of the day. We had the place to our self. The staff was great and explained the process well. They answered all our question and adjusted their tour to our questions.
The tour is free, and some may consider the Alcohol a little pricey. The quality is high and very good.

Thank Frank M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
torchlake99, Owner at Grand Traverse Distillery, responded to this reviewResponded May 10, 2013

Hi Frank
Thanks for taking time to write in! It is nice at times to have a small tour group where you feel it is more of a conversation vs. a tour. Come back again on your next visit to Northern Michigan. Someday it will warm up!
Cheers
Kent

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Reviewed April 29, 2013

My wife and I stopped by on a Friday around 12:30 as a kick-start to our weekend away from home and we had the place to ourselves. We were given a great explanation/description of the vodkas and whiskeys/bourbons that G.T.D. provides. After we tasted a couple of each (my first time trying corn whiskey) we were given a tour of the shop where the mashing/distillation/storing process was explained in a clear and concise way (heads/hearts/tails) I found it interesting how much the company is able to accomplish with only a few thousand square feet of space.

They have a nice retail space where all of the product is available. The spirits may be considered "pricey" but the quality of the product is evident and they're a Michigan-based business; that in itself is worth a couple of extra dollars!

We had a lot of fun here and it was a good way to start our time in Traverse City. We brought some bottles home with us and look forward to sipping the spirits away!

Thank ryanf_bloom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
torchlake99, Owner at Grand Traverse Distillery, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2013

Thanks for coming in and seeing our distillery and taking the time to write the kind review! Come in and see us again on your next trip to Traverse City. Hope to have gin ready for you to sample.
Cheers
Kent

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