Rhode Island: It's All in Our Backyard

Distilling a recipe for success

January 5, 2015 by chris

There is a company in our Backyard that has gone from the drawing board to international honors in less than five years. Sons of Liberty Spirits Co. distills craft whiskies in a 250-gallon still in a former South Kingstown mill. The company is proud to be challenging century-old whiskey traditions by focusing on American Single Malt Whiskies born from distinctly flavorful beers as well as the first-ever seasonal line of whiskies.

Its name reflects the founders’ unconventional beginnings and revolutionary spirit, according to Founder Mike Reppucci. “I was a kid in finance and I quit my job to start a distillery. How dumb is that, but how American is that? One thing we have in the U.S. is that entrepreneurial spirit. We’re not afraid to take that shot or take that risk. And I’m really proud of that,” he says. “We’ve been blessed by the people of Rhode Island, believing in us and supporting us since the beginning. That’s the coolest part.”

The business has exploded since becoming the first US craft distillery to win a “World’s Best” award in Whiskey Magazine’s World Whiskies Awards in 2014. To date, the distillery has taken home 15 medals in domestic and international competitions. “We realize that a major factor to success is the quality. We buy the grain. We mill it. We distill it. We age it. We test it. We make the whiskey. We need to keep that authenticity. We’re focused on keeping that product quality while growing and continuing to push the whiskey envelope,” he says.

You can see that commitment in the Pumpkin Spice Flavored Whiskey that won the “World’s Best” award. Reppucci explains that Carpenter’s Farm in South Kingstown grew a special varietal of pumpkin that ripens a little early in order give him plenty of time to brew his seasonal. Then his team, along with many loyal and enthusiastic fans, really gets to work.  “We literally wash all the pumpkins, chop them in half, and core them out with ice cream scoops. Then we roast them and press out as much fresh pumpkin juice as we can,” he says.  The team went from just 2,000 lbs of fresh pumpkins in 2012, to a tremendous 32,000 lbs in 2014.

You can visit the distillery year-round to take a tour and get a taste of the fine spirits coming out of our Ocean State. Visit www.solspirits.com for more information.