Sit…. Stay…. Good reader! You deserve a treat. Luckily, one local distillery has just released its inaugural batch of single malt whiskey, and we couldn’t think of a better reward.
Good Shepherd Distillery in Mamaroneck has been turning out some particularly delicious brandies and vodka since they opened up shop along Mount Pleasant Ave. back in 2016. Now, after more than a year and seventy-odd barrels in the making, the same team has released their long-anticipated whiskey, and it was worth the wait.
Read More: In Good Spirits
“Sound Shore” Single Malt Whiskey isn’t just Westchester in name: Owner Vincent Miata of Port Chester made sure to get Good Shepherd certified as a New York State Farm Distillery. While that certification only requires distillers to use 75 percent New York grown ingredients, Miata and Head Distiller Artie Bruno decided they wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less than 100 percent “grain-to-glass.”
“Honestly, the license is great. It gives you all kinds of backstage passes,” explains Miata, rattling off industry perks like selling directly from their facility and at local farmers’ markets. “It really is a great package [Gov. Andrew] Cuomo put together.”
Those locally sourced ingredients are then mashed and distilled right there in Mamaroneck, and aged in American oak for one year at the distillery. Though an average whiskey barrel will clock in at around 53 gallons, because Good Shepherd is a smaller facility, the team uses smaller five- and a few ten-gallon barrels. Combined with Westchester’s particularly variable climate, this yields a product that ‘ages’ much faster than an actual age would indicate.
The result is a shockingly smooth 80 proof single malt — not peated like a traditional Scottish whiskey, but malty, a little smoky, and with a hint of sweetness. This makes Sound Shore ideal for mixing in cocktails, but it’s also eminently sippable straight or on the rocks.
Sound Shore Single Malt Whiskey retails for $46 per 375ml bottle, and is currently only available in limited supply from the Good Shepherd Distillery tasting room, open Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m. While Miata says the initial batch yielded only about 90 to 100 bottles, fans shouldn’t worry too much: a new barrel is set to crack once a month.