The story of us
Gamblers and gangsters, artists and architects, frontiersmen and businessmen, heroes of sport and especially the wayward backwoods distillers that kept the social castes, well, sociable, these ethereal inhabitants of French Lick's past were truly a restless bunch. The legends alone would be enough to guarantee a place in any history book, but the final paragraphs have yet to be written for this rediscovered bastion of Americana.
Spirits of French Lick is leading the way for Indiana distillers by bringing the artisan distilling industry and its inseparable history back to the Southern region of Indiana. Our goal is to represent both the quality and the history of Hoosier distillation, presenting an untold and ever unfolding story about the nature of distillation in the state, while exemplifying and expanding upon what that industry has evolved into.
We are very precise in the way we represent who we are and what we produce, playing the part of both distiller and historian. This approach gives us a very unique place in the industry, not just in terms of our story, but also our methodologies of double pot still distillation, retention, and concentration of flavors. We rely on both time-tested practices, and new innovations in our distilling program. Through these processes, we craft a spirit that has defined character, equally driven by grain, barrel, yeast and experience and following Spirits of French Lick's only rule: “Respect the Grain”.
Our distillery in West Baden, is an outgrowth of the French Lick Winery. Spirits of French Lick focuses on four pillars of distilling: bourbon, brandy, botanical spirits, and American whiskey. Locally, we lead the industry by being the largest pot-still distillery in the state of Indiana. We create pre-prohibition style products and distill them in a method consistent with their historical counterparts. Our Distiller, Alan Bishop, has spent 19 years of his life working through the art and science of distillation, expanding his knowledge at every step. He constantly seeks out ways to continue his education through industry innovation practices, but also through discovering and preserving the rich distilling history of our state.
Our wheat and corn are cultivated on our Hoosier Homestead-designated farm using sustainable farming practices. Spirits of French Lick prides itself on using local Indiana products when not sourcing directly from our farm. Investing more than ten years of development, Alan has created a new hybrid, open-pollinated strain of heirloom corn. This strain, The Amanda Palmer variety is grown on a fifteen-acre plot annually and used in our estate bourbon. The development of the Amanda Palmer strain and our use of alternative grains in distilling, including oats, kasha, and buckwheat, is one of the many things that separate us from other Indiana Artisan distilleries. Other distinguishing practices include our focus on temperature control during all phases of distillation, as well as our unique pot-distillation methods, lower entry proofs into barrel, lower char barrels during maturation, and toasted staves and heads.
Spirits of French Lick also is one of the few artisan distilleries equipped with our own grain mill on site, complete with a seed cleaner to help produce a cleaner, purer spirit, free from offending flavors. We are constantly evolving our distillation practices and expanding our library of distilling skills and distilled products. Through our unique products, including our single-pass Calvados-style Apple Brandy, citrus forward Old Tom Gin, and Indiana’s first commercial Absinthe, we live, breathe, and create distilling history.