A little publication called the New York Times named the Berkshires’ own Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ Greylock Gin #1. They’re not the only critics who have rained praise upon the spirit - Wine Enthusiast gives Greylock Gin 91 points. Last October, the Washington Post also ran a story calling BMD's gins their "new
favorite... in American gins". Maxim also dubbed the BMD rum their favorite (guess they’re not martini drinkers), and GQ also cited their rum in a January story on being a "liquor locavore".
Berkshire Mountain Distillers are now reaching creatively beyond their own corporate borders to collaborate with Sam Adams on a project destined to intrigue the tastebuds: They are distilling Samuel Adams Boston Lager into a brand new whiskey.
Casual whiskey drinkers may not realize that whiskey is a spirit that is distilled from beer. Normally, that beer is nothing special until it is aged whiskeyward. In this particular case, they are starting with a far more palatable beer, and after it ages for a minimum of two years, it will be interesting to see what is brought forth from the parent beer. We are fully anticipating a world-class result.
Berkshire Mountain Distillers are the also the creators of Ethereal Gin, a family of botanical spirits sure to complete your Berkshires experience with classic cocktail-hour style.
There are three members of the Ethereal Gin family, each a gin-lovers dream: Batch 5, Batch 6 and Batch 7. Batch 5 showcases a blend of flowers and spice, with notes of violet, honeysuckle, citrus and vanilla layered over cinnamon, clove and grains of paradise. Batch 6 pairs citrus and berries for a botanical blend of rosehips, elderberry, blueberry and lime peel. Batch 7 is a bold, brave standalone that also perks up a classic cocktail. Lemon peel, elderberry and rosehips are the opening act for a peppery finish.
Berkshire Mountain Distillers create more than just Ethereal Gin, however, they also craft Greylock Gin, Ice Glen Vodka, Ragged Mountain Rum, Berkshire Bourbon and New England Corn Whiskey.
You can visit the Berkshire Mountain Distillers website to learn more, or catch up with them on Facebook or Twitter (@BerkshireMtDist).
Those of you who have met us know from the moment we say hello that Susan and I are originally from the South – Georgia to be exact. We came to the Berkshires in the early 90s when I became the director of development for the National Music Foundation, of which Dick Clark was the Chairman of the Board.
In the mid-90s, I had the pleasure of bringing Wynton Marsalis and his Orchestra to the Berkshires and working with them directly.
The concert hall was in a larger building, which had an indoor basketball court. I was driving him down from the Crowne Plaza in Pittsfield that afternoon for sound check and mentioned the set up. He said, "you and me, Stan, one-on-one."
We played one-on-one in the afternoon and then his band members joined in. At the intermission of the show, he and his band were playing in their tuxes. After the show, they resumed their game and some people from the audience, who had heard about intermission, went in to watch.
Wynton was in town for a concert at Tanglewood last night and stayed at Hampton Terrace. When I checked him in, he and his band-mates and equipment guy remembered our match immediately. Wynton saw the basketball hoop in the back yard and challenged me to a rematch. Not wanting to embarrass him in front of his band, I politely declined but I did catch him on video making a few great shots.
(To see the video, check out our Facebook page
Next time, Wynton. Next time.
Tanglewood, though fabulous, is not the only music festival in town. Mark your calendars for September 21-23 for the Fresh Grass Bluegrass Festival.
Fresh Grass is in its second year and because if its unique location at Mass MoCa it is able to be much more than just a music festival. There’s the music on multiple stages, but then there’s the exhibits (museum admission is included in your ticket), random pop-up
performances in non-stage areas, workshops for adults and kids, film screenings, moonshine slushies (you read that correctly), late night barn dances, and bands both traditional and hipster-inclined.
Explore links to all of the bands (plenty of videos) on the Mass MoCa website. The weekend’s bands include:
♣ Trampled by Turtles
♣ Carolina Chocolate Drops
♣ Lonesome River Band
♣ Leyla McCalla
♣ Bill Evans
♣ Mamie Minch
And many, many more. Fresh Grass even has its own website, which includes more information about workshops and other events.
For lodging, of course, we suggest Hampton Terrace. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a nap after you try one of those moonshine slushies…