Sono1420 American Craft Distillers is located in Norwalk, CT and produces “ultra-premium, alternative grain, distilled spirits”. And that’s no lie! Their curious use of hemp in distillation is more reminiscent of something I’d expect to find back in Colorado! No, using hemp in spirits won’t have any psychoactive effects on the consumer. Hemp is a highly nutritious seed, full of protein and vital vitamins, and, unlike marijuana, is 100% legal to purchase and consume in the US. Read more about Sono1420’s use of hemp here.
The distillery’s name is taken from the historic defeat of Prohibition in Connecticut. It was the state Senate’s 14 to 20 vote in 1919 that failed to ratify the 18th amendment, making CT one of only two states to overturn Prohibition. It’s this 1420 that pays homage to the past and resonates with the spirited freedom of the distillery today.
Their tasting room is industrial-chic, with rugged wood and piping mixed with old school leather seating, and gives patrons a look into the distillery itself behind the bar.
You can do a tasting flight or get some fabulous looking cocktails to drink there or to take away. Blake is their mixologist and a very lively fellow, fun to chat with and excellent with the drinks, of course! I chose the flight, which included a whiskey and their 3 gins (although you could sub out for their vodkas if desired).
While they typically have a bourbon and a rye whiskey to sample, I was lucky enough to get a wee taste of their first ever Distiller’s Exclusive Release whiskey, which, in addition to utilizing their hemped mashbill and aged for 2 years in oak barrels, was aged an additional 9 months in one of their barrels used to age their maple syrup!! It opened up nicely to sweet complexity, a delicious nuttiness from the hemp, and that real maple syrup influence. Smooth and utterly yumm.
The American style Midnight gin was very floral (rather a hallmark of American gins), with their traditional London Dry style Skysail being more herbaceous. It was the Navy Strength Bangtail that surprised me the most, with its unexpected depth brought to light by the cinnamon and clove notes I haven’t before experienced in a Navy Strength.
Absolutely worth a visit!