The story of us

 
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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.

Picture of Corn and Grains Used for Fermentation

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. 

 
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The Distillers

 

Alan Reed Bishop - Head Distiller

Alan Reed Bishop - Head Distiller

Alan is deeply passionate about the connection forged between agriculture and distillation. As the product of a life spent on a family owned farm and in the profession of plant breeding Alan is deeply committed to fully exploring the history and future of distilling in Indiana. A self-described lifelong student of the art of distillation and an avid researcher of distilling heritage Alan brings 19 years’ worth of experience to the table at Spirits of French Lick.

Stephen McNeely - Assistant Distiller

Stephen McNeely - Assistant Distiller

Say hello to our assistant Distiller Stephen McNeely.  Stephen is a native of French Lick and attended school at Springs Valley.  Stephen is an avid gamer as well as a fellow lover of distilled spirits and music, taking inspiration from bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown, and Hollywood Undead.  Stephen has stepped up to the plate to deliver in his words “extremely well made products, with an eye towards quality” and has in short order become our go-to miller: prepping cooks daily, weighing grains, and helping design potential mash bills.  Recently he has become a distiller in training, working closely with our head distiller and learning the ins and outs of distillation as well as developing his palate.  He has also taken a keen interest in the fermentation arts here at the distillery.

 
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The OWNERS

John Doty

Owner

Spirits of French Lick and French Lick Winery owner and vintner, John Doty, graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Agricultural Economics – Farm and Business Management, with minors in Agronomy and Animal Science in 1978. He worked in agribusiness banking for 22 years before retiring to work full time at the winery. John grew up on a farm and has managed Kim’s Homestead farm since they married in 1978. John has concentrated most of his efforts on the Spirits of French Lick distillery since 2015.

Spirits of French Lick and French Lick Winery owner and vintner, John Doty, graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Agricultural Economics – Farm and Business Management, with minors in Agronomy and Animal Science in 1978. He worked in agribusiness banking for 22 years before retiring to work full time at the winery. John grew up on a farm and has managed Kim’s Homestead farm since they married in 1978. John has concentrated most of his efforts on the Spirits of French Lick distillery since 2015.


Kim Doty

Owner

Spirits of French Lick and French Lick Winery owner, Kim Doty, is a Cellar-Master and certified by the American Wine Society as a wine judge. She graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Horticulture/Greenhouse Management. For 28 years she worked for the US Postal Service, first as a clerk and later as Postmaster, before retiring to devote all of her time to the winery. Our Heaven’s View Vineyard is located on Kim’s Hoosier Homestead Farm which has been in her family since 1888, passed down through the generations from woman to woman. Kim became the first female president of the Indiana Wine & Grape Council from 2016-2018 and was the President of the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail for seven years (2007-2014) and is now serving as the trail’s treasurer.

Spirits of French Lick and French Lick Winery owner, Kim Doty, is a Cellar-Master and certified by the American Wine Society as a wine judge. She graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Horticulture/Greenhouse Management. For 28 years she worked for the US Postal Service, first as a clerk and later as Postmaster, before retiring to devote all of her time to the winery. Our Heaven’s View Vineyard is located on Kim’s Hoosier Homestead Farm which has been in her family since 1888, passed down through the generations from woman to woman. Kim became the first female president of the Indiana Wine & Grape Council from 2016-2018 and was the President of the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail for seven years (2007-2014) and is now serving as the trail’s treasurer.


Aaron Doty

Owner

Aaron graduated from Vincennes University in 2009 with a degree in Business Management. He wears many hats at the winery and handles several different jobs including pressing grapes, fermentation, and cold stabilizing. He also assists in equipment cleaning, bottling, and managing the wine stock for the gift shop. Aaron enjoys sports and cheers for the Steelers, Hoosiers and the St. Louis Cardinals. He spends his free time playing video games and fishing.

Aaron graduated from Vincennes University in 2009 with a degree in Business Management. He wears many hats at the winery and handles several different jobs including pressing grapes, fermentation, and cold stabilizing. He also assists in equipment cleaning, bottling, and managing the wine stock for the gift shop. Aaron enjoys sports and cheers for the Steelers, Hoosiers and the St. Louis Cardinals. He spends his free time playing video games and fishing.


 

Nick Doty

Owner & Head Winemaker

Meet our Head Winemaker, Nicholas Doty. He earned a degree in Business Management from the University of Southern Indiana in 2004. He gained experience in the restaurant industry and framing houses in high school and college, but has primarily dedicated the past 25 years to making great wines and growing the family business. As an amateur joke writer he is also our Keeper of Morale and Defender of the Realm.

Meet our Head Winemaker, Nicholas Doty. He earned a degree in Business Management from the University of Southern Indiana in 2004. He gained experience in the restaurant industry and framing houses in high school and college, but has primarily dedicated the past 25 years to making great wines and growing the family business. As an amateur joke writer he is also our Keeper of Morale and Defender of the Realm.


Laurelin Doty

Owner & Assistant Wine Maker

Laurelin Doty is the assistant winemaker. She earned a degree in International Relations/History from Indiana Wesleyan University and was working on a Nursing degree when she met Nicholas Doty. She has over a decade of experience in catering and hospitality. She is a pianist and an avid reader, but these days she spends most of her leisure time corralling 3 small humans and a giant dog.

Laurelin Doty is the assistant winemaker. She earned a degree in International Relations/History from Indiana Wesleyan University and was working on a Nursing degree when she met Nicholas Doty. She has over a decade of experience in catering and hospitality. She is a pianist and an avid reader, but these days she spends most of her leisure time corralling 3 small humans and a giant dog.


 

THE SENIOR STAFF

Andy Kasprzak

General Manager

Andy has been working in the Restaurant Industry since he was 12 years old starting out as a bus-boy in an Illinois country club. Andy has a decade’s worth of Mixology training and experience and helped bring our craft cocktails to another level. With a college degree and higher education focused on Economics, he brings a practical business sense to our Front of House. He is our Super GM and handles anything that comes his way.

Andy has been working in the Restaurant Industry since he was 12 years old starting out as a bus-boy in an Illinois country club. Andy has a decade’s worth of Mixology training and experience and helped bring our craft cocktails to another level. With a college degree and higher education focused on Economics, he brings a practical business sense to our Front of House. He is our Super GM and handles anything that comes his way.


Claudia Chatman

Retail Manager & Group Reservations Coordinator

Claudia has worked in the hospitality industry since 1992 starting off as a server waiting tables and found her love her of working with the public. She has lived in the area for over half of her life and has worked at the Winery for 10 years starting as a bartender and transitioning into the positions she holds now. She is a self-proclaimed tomboy and adores her Toyota Tacoma truck! She loves fishing and cats and knows exactly what to order so that our gift shop stays stocked with anything and everything a wine and spirits lover could want.

Claudia has worked in the hospitality industry since 1992 starting off as a server waiting tables and found her love her of working with the public. She has lived in the area for over half of her life and has worked at the Winery for 10 years starting as a bartender and transitioning into the positions she holds now. She is a self-proclaimed tomboy and adores her Toyota Tacoma truck! She loves fishing and cats and knows exactly what to order so that our gift shop stays stocked with anything and everything a wine and spirits lover could want.


Jolee Kasprzak

Marketing Director

Originally from Southern California, Jolee has worked in the Hospitality Industry for most of her life. Moving to Indiana when she was 25, she took a job at a sign company mixing her customer service skills with her design sense and art education. After managing a corporate restaurant for four years her move into marketing was very natural. She brings her assertive leadership skills, enthusiastic personality, and red headed sensibilities into everything she does.

Originally from Southern California, Jolee has worked in the Hospitality Industry for most of her life. Moving to Indiana when she was 25, she took a job at a sign company mixing her customer service skills with her design sense and art education. After managing a corporate restaurant for four years her move into marketing was very natural. She brings her assertive leadership skills, enthusiastic personality, and red headed sensibilities into everything she does.


 

Shanna Jones

Kitchen Manager

Born and raised right here in French Lick/West Baden, Shanna has dedicated her life to the winery and The Vintage Café. Since the tender age of 19 she has worked her way up from a line cook, learning as she went, to Kitchen Manager. Shanna has a very hands-on management style. She insists on the importance of team work and communication with her crew, which allows her kitchen to be efficient and flow well during busy times. When her life isn’t revolving around pizza, she enjoys spending time with her partner and their child as well as watching crime shows and murder mysteries.

Born and raised right here in French Lick/West Baden, Shanna has dedicated her life to the winery and The Vintage Café. Since the tender age of 19 she has worked her way up from a line cook, learning as she went, to Kitchen Manager. Shanna has a very hands-on management style. She insists on the importance of team work and communication with her crew, which allows her kitchen to be efficient and flow well during busy times. When her life isn’t revolving around pizza, she enjoys spending time with her partner and their child as well as watching crime shows and murder mysteries.

Sean White

Sales Manager

Sean joined the French Lick Winery and the Spirits of French Lick team in 2018 with over 20 years of experience in the spirits industry. Sean previously worked at Glazer’s Distributing Co. as a District Manager where he managed over 1,000 accounts and 8 million dollars in business across the state of Indiana. He left Glazers in the spring of 2016 to pursue at career at Southern Wine and Spirts as an Area Manager. During his years as a manager in the Wholesale Distribution channel, Sean managed two sales consultants of the year and sat on several advisory panels to increase proficiency within both organizations. Sean has dedicated himself to his continuous education in the industry earning certificates as a Whiskey Ambassador, Scotch Brand Ambassador, Certified Specialist in Tequila, and was a graduate of the Filson Bourbon Academy. Sean and his wife, Lori, have a fourteen-year-old daughter, Ellie. In his spare time, he and his family act as a foster family for the Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership. He also sits on the board of directors as President for Launch Athletics.

Sean joined the French Lick Winery and the Spirits of French Lick team in 2018 with over 20 years of experience in the spirits industry. Sean previously worked at Glazer’s Distributing Co. as a District Manager where he managed over 1,000 accounts and 8 million dollars in business across the state of Indiana. He left Glazers in the spring of 2016 to pursue at career at Southern Wine and Spirts as an Area Manager. During his years as a manager in the Wholesale Distribution channel, Sean managed two sales consultants of the year and sat on several advisory panels to increase proficiency within both organizations. Sean has dedicated himself to his continuous education in the industry earning certificates as a Whiskey Ambassador, Scotch Brand Ambassador, Certified Specialist in Tequila, and was a graduate of the Filson Bourbon Academy. Sean and his wife, Lori, have a fourteen-year-old daughter, Ellie. In his spare time, he and his family act as a foster family for the Alliance for Responsible Pet Ownership. He also sits on the board of directors as President for Launch Athletics.

 
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