Award Picker

Best spirits distiller 

Caledonia Spirits


Winner
Caledonia Spirits

Runner-Up
WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey


The honey’s the unexpected thing inside bottles of Caledonia Spirits. Crisp Barr Hill Vodka is distilled from raw honey, while a tiny dose softens the edges of herbaceous Barr Hill Gin. Todd Hardie, a former beekeeper who founded the company two years ago, doesn’t drink much himself, but he says he’s honored to be part of Vermont’s agricultural landscape.

SEVEN DAYS: Caledonia Spirits now owns three pigs — why?

TODD HARDIE: We’re starting to make whiskey with organic corn from [Butterworks Farm’s] Jack Lazor. After we distill, we give the spent mash to our pigs. They’re so excited, and they seem to know that it’s their job. Then everybody who works here gets frozen pork in October, and we can transfer the energy up a couple of notches. The brown one lets me rub her belly now — I’ve been working on that for a month.

—CORIN HIRSCH

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