Located in Bridgeport, CT, 5th State Distillery (formerly known as Asylum and recently having gone through a re-branding, aptly taking their name from CT being the 5th state to join the Union) is a small producer distilling a range of products using locally grown, non-gmo corn.
They have about a dozen labels, ranging from gin and flavoured vodkas to unique whiskey expressions and specialty liquours. Owners Bridget and Rob are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their products and make it a very fun experience – giving you tastes of mixed cocktails using their Limoncello or Ginger Zap (made with REAL ginger, hence its slight colour – they don’t use chemicals for flavour or colour in any of their offerings), Barrel Strength or Maple whiskies, or finishing things off with their dangerously delicious Chocolate XS. It’s more like chatting with friends than having someone give you a sales pitch. If you’re interested, Rob will take you into the distillery and give you a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour and rundown of their distilling process. He said the distillery keeps him up at night, but there was a twinkle in his eye and you can tell he loves every minute of it, even the hard parts.
You can only find their bottles in CT, and some of them only at the distillery. Their Wonderful Water is just one such; created from a recipe from the 1800s (Rob loves to read old stuff) and unique to Connecticut, it’s distilled with 10 botanicals, amongst them cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves. It’s reminiscent of Christmas in a glass.
Their tastings are held outdoors under a tent, and while the area might seem a bit rough, it’s well worth a visit to share a fun tasting and banter with these two genuine local distillers.