Spend a few hours inside a distillery, and you’re treated to a multisensory immersion: the bready aroma of bubbly, fermenting grain, the gleam of the handsome copper pot still and the clanging of just-filled bottles heading down the conveyor belt to be labeled, capped and shipped to happy imbibers.
Perhaps it’s not quite as thrilling to watch it on your screen as it is to see it in person, but learning where and how your favorite spirit is produced always makes it taste that much more delicious. Whatever your penchant, pour yourself a glass of your favorite booze or mix it into a cocktail, and sit back and check out these videos, Q&As and distiller-led tours.
The Kentucky bourbon producer and its distillery for the newly launched vodka created by master distiller Harlen Wheatley are offering virtual tours led by Buffalo Trace tour guide Freddie Johnson. You can take a stroll through the mash house, walk along the catwalks to the fermenters and stillhouse and get an insider’s peek into the home of bourbon aristocrat Colonel Albert Blanton and the barrels aging in warehouse C.
Travel from grain to glass at the Lawrenceburg, Ky., bourbon producer, whose Spanish Mission-style facility dates back to 1910 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, via this virtual tour that also includes fun facts and a mesmerizing video of the bottling line. Afterward, download and print a tasting mat and tasting notes and join master distiller Brent Elliott as he leads you through all four of its products and offers tips on tasting techniques.
The virtual tour for the Islay producer making peated single malt whisky was shot using a 360-degree camera, so you can click and spin your way across the remote and rugged island off Scotland’s west coast and head into the Hollow of the Bay. Inside the facility, you’ll get a peek at the rooms that have been used for malting, fermenting and distilling for more than 400 years.
The maker of one of the world’s best-selling and most popular scotches, the single malt distillery takes you on a journey to Speyside through The Macallan Distillery Experience, a 360-degree virtual reality excursion. The trip lets you see where the whisky is produced and how it’s made; four unique itineraries include background on the distillery and an in-depth look at the design, stories and tradition surrounding the brand and an exploration of its range of spirits.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
The Kentucky bourbon distillery team has been doing Instagram Live stories, visible in the highlights section of its account. Environmental champion Jason Nally tours the Star Hill Farm property, the site of the distillery, to showcase the water source and discuss ways we can all better protect the environment. Eighth-generation whisky maker, managing director and grandson of the founders Rob Samuels takes viewers inside the facility and shares stories about its history and highlights, while director of innovation Jane Bowie discusses the role of wood on aging and flavor from the on-site lab and tasting room.
Learn about the 100% organic cachaça distillery, sugar cane farm and spirits brand located in the Brazilian rainforest town of Morretes through its video primer that introduces and explains cachaça, the South American cousin to rum, and how it’s unique.
One Eight Distilling
The Washington, D.C., producer named for the article and section of the Constitution that provided for the establishment of a district to serve as the nation’s capital is offering ongoing virtual tours on Facebook and Instagram. The first offers an introduction to the brand, while the second takes a deep dive into the history of stills with a focus on the three different types on-site. Tasting videos on Instagram cover the production and flavor profiles of District Made Spirits and Untitled Whiskeys, as well as cocktail inspiration using its offerings.
Visit the impressive hacienda in Jalisco that’s home to the tequila brand through its virtual hacienda tour, offering 360-degree views of the agave fields and surrounding landscape, as well as the process of harvesting, prepping and baking the piñas, fermentation, distillation, aging and bottling, and the details of the core line of agave spirits. Since the video was originally produced for Oculus Rift, inserting your Android or iOS device into a Google Cardboard viewer provides an enriched, immersive experience.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
Founder Sam Galsworthy and master distiller Jared Brown take botanical booze aficionados on a tour through the London craft distillery that produces London-dry-style gin as well as flavored variations such as Lemon Drizzle and Orange & Cacao. It’s a 360-degree experience so you can click and drag your way through every nook and cranny of the distillery, including a look at Prudence, Patience, Constance and Cygnet, its copper pot stills.
The Denver craft whiskey distillery launched a weekly whiskey series running on its Instagram channel with Q&A sessions with the head distiller, as well as virtual tastings and mixology lessons. Grab a virtual stool inside Stranhan’s Lounge every Tuesday to watch bartenders mix up a cocktail from the menu of the spot that Yelp reviewers named the city’s top whiskey bar. On Wednesdays, a tour guide leads a tasting of the distillery’s expressions, with tips on tasting whiskey. During Thursday Whiskey Hours, head distiller Owen Martin answers questions about the distillery, its offerings and the American single malt category in general.
Miles Munroe, the head distiller and blender for the Portland, Ore., single malt brand, gives a two-part virtual tour of the barrel warehouse, nicknamed Jenny, on the brand’s YouTube channel. He also leads a tutorial on how to taste whiskey. Westward hosts weekly virtual events, announced on its website, including a discussion about the life of a brand ambassador, a cocktail demo breaking down three basic drink families, and strategies for riffing on them and using fruits, veggies, herbs and flowers in seasonal libations.