Posts

Wendy Peppercorn Long Road Distillers

International Flavored Vodka Tasting Event Awards Grand Rapids Distillery with Double Gold

Long Road’s Wendy Peppercorn Vodka stands out from a crowded field of flavored spirits.

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Internationally recognized Grand Rapids distillery, Long Road Distillers, announced more top honors for their line-up of spirits, this time coming from a competition in New York City. The distillery was awarded a Double Gold medal for Long Road Wendy Peppercorn at The Fifty Best Flavored Vodka tasting event.

The award-winning-101-proof spirit is made from 100 percent locally grown red winter wheat, milled, mashed, fermented and distilled on-site at the Westside distillery,  then redistilled with pink peppercorns, the berry from the Peruvian Peppertree. Non-chill filtration techniques give all of Long Road spirits a smooth, handcrafted taste rather than the overly processed, astringent flavors that result from the carbon and charcoal filtration technique used by many. Wendy Peppercorn is  a whopping 101 proof, or 50.5  percent alcohol by volume (ABV), a full 10.5% higher than any of the other entries in the Fifty Best competition.

“As far as we know, Wendy Peppercorn is the only pink peppercorn flavored vodka in the world,” said Co-Owner Kyle VanStrien. “Pink peppercorn happens to be one of the botanicals in our gin, and since we’re distilling each gin botanical individually, we discovered that we loved pink peppercorn all by itself!”

“We’re products of the 80’s,” said Co-Owner Jon O’Connor in reference to the name Wendy Peppercorn. “Most of us on the Long Road team grew up watching the movie The Sandlot. We all remember the scene where Michael “Squints” Palledorous expressed his passion for Wendy Peffercorn, the lifeguard at the community pool, and we feel the same way about this vodka! This is our nod to a classic movie for our generation, and a fun way for us to play up the high proof of this spirit. Wendy 101 has a great ring to it, but we’ve also left the spirit at 101 proof to amplify the flavors and keep the essential oils that carry over in the distillation process suspended.” Similar to an absinthe or ouzo, Wendy Peppercorn will cloud up with the addition of water, altering the aromas, texture, and flavor to make the spirit more floral and fruity.

Spirits from around the world were entered into the Fifty Best event. 17 pre-qualified judges evaluated each spirit separately based on preset tasting rules. Each spirit was served to judges in fresh glasses from newly sealed bottles and was served slightly above room temperature to ensure optimum flavor. Judges noted their nose, palate and finish impressions of Long Road Wendy Peppercorn, which provided, “attractive spice notes, a wonderful mouthfeel, and a surprisingly sweet, soft and subtle finish.” The judges added that it would be, “perfect for a Bloody Mary!”

Long Road Distillers has garnered a multitude of international honors for their line of spirits. The most notable accolades were earned at the world’s largest spirits competitions and include several “Best in Show” awards, nearly a dozen double-gold medals, and numerous gold, silver and bronze medals. The West Michigan Distillery has also expanded distribution to over 400 Michigan grocers, specialty retailers, and bars and restaurants in the past year.

“This has been a huge year of progress for Long Road,” said O’Connor. “Every award won and distribution expansion made motivates our team to stay committed to our mission and values. We look forward to what the future has in store for our distillery.”

Long Road Distillers

Grand Rapids Distillery Awarded Top Honors at SIP Awards, World’s Largest Consumer Tasting Competition

Long Road Distillers adds to recent international acclaim and awarded a Platinum Medal for Long Road Gin, and Gold Medals for Long Road Aquavit and Long Road Vodka.

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Internationally recognized Grand Rapids distillery, Long Road Distillers, announced three new awards from the world’s largest consumer tasting competition. At this year’s SIP Awards, the distillery won a Platinum Medal, the highest honors, for Long Road Gin, and added two new Gold Medals for Long Road Aquavit and Long Road Vodka.

Long Road’s award-winning line-up of spirits are made from 100 percent locally grown grain and are made 100 percent on-site at the distillery on Grand Rapids’ West Side. Both Long Road Gin and Long Road Aquavit have been recognized as “Best in the World” at recent international competitions; recognition that the Long Road team attributes to several factors, locally grown ingredients.

“Every one of our spirits start from the finest, locally-sourced ingredients,” said Brian Pribyl, Head Distiller at Long Road. “We owe a ton of credit to our suppliers, like Heffron Farms and Pilot Malt House, who continue to provide us with top-notch wheat, rye, corn and barley, grown right here in West Michigan. We’re proud to show off the amazing agriculture we have available to us through the spirits we craft at Long Road.”

Nearly 500 spirits brands from around the world were entered into the 2016 SIP Awards, held in Newport Beach, California. A panel of 98 pre-qualified, consumer judges evaluated each spirit separately, in a double blind manner, based on preset tasting rules, using the SIP Awards’ patented delivery system to ensure a consistent, focused, and accurate survey of consumer impressions in each category. Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals were awarded in 59 categories.

Long Road Gin was the highest rated domestic gin, winning a Platinum Medal, and Long Road Aquavit was awarded a Gold Medal and named Best Aquavit, an honor the spirit also won in Denver, San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle.

“We’re extremely proud of our team for all of the hard work they have put in to get us to this point,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner of Long Road Distillers. “Our no shortcuts approach, combined with quality ingredients and amazing talent, continues to reaffirm our commitment to making world-class spirits right here in our city!”

For more information about Long Road Distillers please visit: www.longroaddistillers.com.

For more information about the SIP Awards please visit: www.SIPAwards.com.

###

About Long Road Distillers:

Long Road Distillers was born from the belief that making world-class spirits means never taking shortcuts along the way. After becoming the first craft distillery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Long Road Distillers formed relationships with local farmers to bring that mission to Grand Rapids’ West Side neighborhood. Each spirit produced at Long Road Distillers is milled from locally sourced ingredients, fermented, and distilled on-site. The result is an uncompromised lineup of spirits including Vodka, Gin, Whisky and more. Their spirits, along with a handcrafted collection of cocktails and a wide variety of food can be enjoyed at their tasting room.

About the SIP Awards: Catering to the opinions and palates of the discerning public, the SIP Awards present a unique spirit judging competition, unaffected by industry bias. This pragmatic and refreshing model of evaluation provides an honest stage for feedback and recognition where top brands showcase their achievements. To learn more about the SIP Awards beverage competition, venue partnerships, or for a complete list of 2016 winners, visit www.SIPAwards.com.

Gin Long Road Distillers

A local craft spirits maker has won the Best Gin honor at a global blind-tasting competition for gin.

The gin by Grand Rapids-based Long Road Distillers won the top honor and a double-gold medal at the recent Fifty Best gin event, which included 17 pre-qualified judges tasting 41 gins.

Holland-based Coppercraft Distillery also took home a silver medal at the global tasting.

Long Road gin

Long Road’s gin starts with a neutral spirit made at 537 Leonard St. NW from locally grown red winter wheat and features an individually distilled six-ingredient botanical blend.

The product was noted as having notes of lemon, lime, cherry, floral, juniper, eucalyptus and more.

“When we started Long Road Distillers, Jon (O’Connor) and I made a promise to ourselves that we would source our ingredients locally, mill, mash, ferment and distill everything on site at our distillery and filter it honestly,” said  Kyle VanStrien, co-owner, Long Road Distillers. “I believe our commitment to sourcing ingredients, rather than spirits, and using time-honored techniques without taking shortcuts is what sets us apart from others in the industry and in competitions like these.”

Ten gins were awarded double-gold medals, and Long Road’s gin was rated atop other brands, such as Hendricks gin and other staples from the Netherlands and the U.K.

The double-gold medal for gin joins three double-gold medals recently awarded to the distillery’s aquavit. The gin has also previously been awarded gold, silver and bronze medals at various spirit competitions.

Long Road Distillers celebrated its first anniversary last weekend.

“This has been a huge year of progress for Long Road,” said Jon O’Connor, co-owner, Long Road Distillers. “Every award won and distribution expansion made motivates our team to stay committed to our mission and values. We look forward to what the future has in store for our distillery.”

Coppercraft gin

Judges noted smell and taste notes such as lemon, honey dew, toffee, pine, smoky and licorice when evaluating Coppercraft gin.

Coppercraft Distillery includes 13 botanicals in its gin.

Full story here.

Aquavit Long Road Distillers

A West Michigan distillery has won its second double gold medal and best of show in an international competition.

Long Road Distillery won double gold for its Long Road Aquavit at the 16th annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition earlier this month. That honor follows on the heels of the double gold best of show Long Road received for aquavit at the Denver International Spirits Competition in March.

“The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is the most influential in the industry and winning a medal here is very meaningful,” said Anthony Dias Blue, competition director, in a press release. “We have the industry’s most respected experts serving as judges, and every entry is blind-tasted under highly focused conditions. There is no better way to discern quality and identify trends.”

Long Road also won silver for Long Road Gin and bronze for Long Road Wheat Vodka at the San Francisco competition.

The awards were based on the evaluation of 1,899 entries by a 39-person panel of judges. Long Road Aquavit was among 200 spirits to receive the double gold designation.

Aquavit is a traditional Scandinavian spirit. Long Road’s aquavit, and other spirits, can be found at the distillery’s tasting room at 537 W. Leonard St. NW and at more than 100 retailers in Michigan.

“At Long Road Distillers we strive to make spirits worthy of people’s admiration while staying committed to our core value of doing things the right way, from start to finish,” said Kyle Van Strien, co-owner at Long Road Distillers. “This second double gold recognition reaffirms what we set out to do all along and gives us the determination to continue our pursuit of making the best spirits in the world in each category we enter, no matter how big or small.”

Pat Evans, Grand Rapids Business Journal, Full article here: http://www.grbj.com/articles/84973

Long Road Distillers

Grand Rapids, MI –  In only its first year of production, Long Road Distillers was named “Michigan Vodka Distillery of the Year” at the New York International Spirits Competition. The famed competition, now in its sixth year, judges nearly 500 world-class spirits each year. Submissions were made from over 35 countries, which were tasted and evaluated by an accomplished panel of judges.

In an industry crowded with international corporations and non-distiller producers, Long Road Distillers is setting a new standard for how spirits are produced—not only for Michigan, but also for the region as a whole. Each spirit in their growing lineup is sourced as locally as possible, milled from whole grain, and fermented on-site—never being treated with carbon or charcoal filtration techniques to maintain a smooth finish and full body.

“This is obviously an exciting achievement for us in our very first year,” commented Kyle Van Strien, Long Road Co-Founder. “We’re thrilled to be a part of the growing craft distilling movement in Michigan and around the country, and we’re humbled to receive this honor, particularly in a very challenging competition often dominated by much larger brands.”

Long Road Distillers was also awarded a bronze medal for Long Road Vodka, a classic spirit boasting surprising hints of vanilla, caramel, toffee, and biscuit. “Long Road is fortunate to have access to the rich agricultural resources of West Michigan which serve as the foundation of all of our spirits, said Jon O’Connor, Long Road’s other Co-Founder.” This medal and the individual award reinforce our commitment to crafting world-class spirits in an honest and transparent manner. We look forward to building upon this initial recognition in the years to come as we expand our spirit offerings.”

The New York International Spirits Competition was founded in 2010 and takes place annually in New York City. The panel consists of trade-only judges, comprised of retail buyers, restaurant and bar owners, beverage directors, distributors and importers. Together, they evaluate entries received from around the globe. The full results can be read at nyispiritscompetition.com.

About Long Road Distillers

Long Road Distillers was born from the belief that making world-class spirits means never taking shortcuts along the way. After becoming the first craft distillery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Long Road Distillers formed relationships with local farmers to bring that mission to Grand Rapids’ West Side neighborhood. Each spirit produced at Long Road Distillery is milled from locally sourced ingredients and fermented on-site. The result is an uncompromised lineup of spirits – including Vodka, Gin, and White Whisky – a handcrafted collection of cocktails, and a wide variety of food options.

Book A Tour