NEW YORK CITY, New York: Great Jones Distilling Company's four-story distillery, which opened last month in Manhattan, is the borough's first and only operating whiskey distillery to have opened in over a century.
The distillery, which includes a cocktail bar, restaurant, event space and speakeasy, took six years to complete and faced many challenges before opening.
"In order to understand what distilling is in New York City, you have to understand the zoning that it takes to be a distillery. After a year and a half of searching, we finally landed at 686 Broadway," said Andrew Merinoff, 31, the company's project manager.
A 500-gallon pot made by Vendome is located in an explosion-proof room in the distillery. "The air can be sucked out of it in 90 seconds, making it one of the safest distilling rooms in the world," Merinoff said, as quoted by Reuters.
Although the whiskey is aged at Black Dirt in upstate New York, a process that began five to six years ago, the distilling takes place at the distillery.
Merinoff added, "Whiskey is definitely one of the more difficult spirits to make. This is a labor of love."
Great Jones Distilling is the brainchild of Jose Cuervo chief executive Juan Domingo Beckmann.