I Love Christmas! And as excited as I am about spending the holidays with the ones I love, there’s always the question as to what to give or what to do with our out of town guests. Well here’s a a different type of spirit that makes for a fun “get out of the house” trip and even get some Christmas gifts or stock up the bar for New Years Eve.
Chest thumping enthusiasm is palpable as wine drinkers and beer lovers “fall off the Brew Ridge Trail” and into the new tasting room of Silverback Distillery in Nelson County. Curiosity tempted us away from apple butter festivals and past some of the wineries and breweries dotting 151 in Nelson. Just a short drive south of 250 and Afton is the newest attraction, opened the end of August by partners in life and business, Christine and Denver Riggleman and close friend and operations manager, Blake Rhodes.
The distillery bears Denver’s nickname of Silverback (gorilla of course) because he had grayed prematurely, lifted weights and is actually quite gentle unless provoked.
We arrived shortly before closing and within a small window of time that allowed us to connect with the Silverback himself, Denver, for a quick but thorough tour of the distillery. Proud of not only the design and the process thoughtfully chosen by the couple, we were treated to a brief chemistry lesson in spirit production. The two stills used would make Willy Wonka want to switch to Bourbon,Gin and Vodka. Sleek and sparkling in the sunny room, the contraptions rest above a hidden geothermal system for heating and then shock cooling the spirits to achieve the best flavor possible. Teflon lined fireman’s hoses transfer the mash to the stills. The stills are Denver’s million dollar plus babies, don’t quote me on this but I remember the dollar figures astounded me.
The motto which reflects their commitment to safety, fun and the environment is
PRODUCE RESPONSIBLY. DRINK RESPONSIBLY. DISPOSE RESPONSIBLY ™
I won’t steal their thunder, head to 151 in Nelson and take a tour, there’s an encyclopedia of information about distilling spirits and the bourbon to come at Silverback. You can even shop for some fun non-alcoholic gift items for tea-totalers.
Wednesday & Thursday: 12:30-6
* Special Note * Closed the same days as ABC stores-early closing on Christmas Eve, Closed Christmas and New Years Day.