Saturday, September 24, 2016

Hilton Head Distillery Grand Opening Continues Today

Stripping Still
   I got to go through the distillery before the festivities began, seeing the high quality equipment and how well thought out the plant was I expect fine quality rum and vodka will be coming out of this facility.  They were in the last minute rush to get bottles of their espresso flavored rum bottled and ready the entire place for the opening.  This is a very impressive craft distillery, it has all of the right stuff, plus a fine group of experienced people there to run the plant.

Stripping and Finishing Stills
     Jillian Stephens, the business manager of the operation very
gracefully escorted me through the plant and the retail portion of the operation. This was very interesting and provided several incites to how they are planning to produce the rum and vodka.

Temporary Bottling Line
     Later in the day the plant went into operation finishing their espresso flavored rum bottled in time for the Grand Opening this afternoon.  The entire staff got involved in the bottling and stocking the tasting room and the retail area to them right up to "show time".  Meanwhile, the still crew was finishing up the stripping still, putting the connecting neck from the pot still to the stripping tower.  This is the first step of the distilling process, followed by the 45 plate finishing still and vodka towers.  The facility is very well laid out and looks like it runs very efficiently, and when the automatic bottling equipment finally arrives they will be able to turn out finished bottles of rum and vodka very rapidly.  The temporary hand bottling machine is a bit slow when they get into full production.

     When they get into full production a portion of their rum will be placed in Port Wine Casks for aging.   They already have a good supply of these barrels in the ready for this to happen in the very near future.  A port finished expression is a really good and flavorful finish for good rum.
Fermentation Tanks

Hilton Head Distillery Expressions
     I really enjoyed the visit to the Hilton Head Distillery and
visiting with the wonderful and very cordial staff.  Thanks for a really great visit and look forward to visiting again some day and seeing your rums and vodkas in the stores and bars soon.

Tasting Room and Retail Area