Austin Reese & Clay Smith, Corsair Distillery
As a reader, I first learned of Corsair Distillery in Nashville, Tenn. from The Local Palate months before I came on staff. Of course, Corsair has received press from Food & Wine, Saveur, and Imbibe, but it was in those specific pages that I was captured by the story of starting in a garage and growing into making seriously high-end artisan spirits. This distillery makes a wide range of spirits that have racked up the awards -- from Quinoa Whiskey to Oatmeal Stout Whiskey to the gin we discuss in this interview, Corsair’s portfolio is one-of-a-kind. Brand ambassador Austin Reese and head distiller Clay Smith were kind hosts on the rainy day I visited in Nashville, and we peeked in the barrel room, got up close and personal with some white rye in production, and interviewed in the upstairs office (where you can hear an ink jet printer at one point). All in all, the only thing missing was whiskey, but then again it was 11 a.m.