BURDETT, NY — Put two unrelated guys together who share not only a surname but a love of spirits and the result is Finger Lakes Distilling, a craft distillery in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes wine country. The partners are Thomas Earl McKenzie (left) and Brian McKenzie (right), and they produce a line of spirits that includes, rye, bourbon, gin, vodka and liqueurs.
The latest spirit in their portfolio has just gone on sale — McKenzie Bourbon (Imagine the partners’ conversation: “It’s named for me.” “No, it’s named for me.”)
The ingredients are strictly New York — 70% of the mash is made from organic corn grown near Penn Yan, the water is local. It’s not the state’s first bourbon; Tuthilltown Spirits in the lower Hudson Valley has several expressions. But, if the quality matches that of the McKenzies’ rye whiskey, you’re in for a treat. (Go to my Dowd’s Tasting Notes entry on their rye.)
Right now, you can buy the McKenzie Bourbon ($45 for a 750ml bottle) only at the tasting room, but that eventually will change since the distillers’ others spirits are sold in various parts of the state.
Finger Lakes Distilling is located at 4676 NYS Route 414 in this Schuyler County community near Seneca Lake. Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Phone: (607) 546-5510.