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The idea for building a distillery in Queens was born on New Years Eve in 2011; a few cocktails may have provided some of the inspiration. By the spring of 2012 our Founder, Chris Murillo, started visiting local distilleries and learning everything he could about the craft of distilling and the spirits business. Distillers are a hospitable lot, and the Astoria Distilling Company was welcomed into the community with open arms. Over the course of the next two years, with the help of craft distillers throughout the country, and in particular our Master Distiller, Jordan Via, we developed a world class spirit and a business plan to bring it to market.
In June 2014, Chris Murillo left the practice of law after 9 years, and committed himself to launching Queens Courage and working on establishing the first distillery in Queens since Prohibition. That month, Batch 1 of Queens Courage was distilled and bottled and the first sales were made on June 21, 2014.
Queens Courage is a refined interpretation of Old Tom gin, a style of gin that was very popular in the 1800’s and pre-Prohibition era. As a result, many classic cocktails call for, and can only properly be made with, Old Tom gin. Queens Courage was carefully formulated to work as a key ingredient in a wide variety of cocktails, yet we take such care in selecting our ingredients and distilling the spirit that we think Queens Courage is also smooth enough to enjoy neat or on the rocks.
Queens Courage is a New York spirit. In addition to using New York grains, we use 100% pure New York honey to sweeten our gin, a portion of which comes from rooftops in New York City. Queens Courage also includes a malt component that gives it a luscious mouth-feel and also imparts a subtle malty sweetness. The primary citrus component in Queens Courage is grapefruit that contributes a lovely and unique citrus note, and also adds a slight bitter note that complements the honey used to make Queens Courage an Old Tom gin.
Unlike most gins, Queens Courage’s botanicals are distilled in separate fractions. This allows us to treat each botanical fraction differently to get the best individual flavor from our carefully selected botanicals. We then marry all the components together to get the best unified flavor profile we can. This is a lot of extra work, but we think it is worth it.
Queens Courage is perfect in a cocktail and smooth enough to enjoy neat or on the rocks.
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