Noble Cut Distillery hopes to mash in on their first batch of spirits to kick off the new year.
The name “Noble Cut” is a reference to the end of the distillation process, where the “head” (initial outpouring from the still) and “tails” (the last part to come off the still) are cut from the “heart” — the good stuff that ultimately ends up bottled. Deciding where to make those cuts is a large part of the art of distillation.
The distillery recently received TTB approval to begin production at their Gahanna distillery, though since planning for the business has been in the works since 2015 — before it was legal for distilleries in Ohio to serve spirits on site — it won’t open with a tasting room, at least initially.
“We didn’t have the ability to open a taproom [in Ohio] until recently with the passing of HB351, which helps us out, but we had already started the process, so we looked for [a location] that was more production oriented,” said Ben Vause, co-owner of the distillery. “When the time comes for us to do a tasting room or more of a restaurant/bar concept which we have the ability to do now, we feel Gahanna is actually a pretty good location for it, so we’re comfortable with that.”
Vause has two partners in the business, both of whom wish to remain anonymous at present to avoid potential issues with their day jobs. One of those partners has been home distilling (legally, Vause assures) for a few years, and he will be heading up the spirit production.
The distillery is starting off with a 200-gallon pot still, 200-gallon mash tank, and two-200 gallon fermenters. Each batch should yield about 300-400 bottles of spirits.
“We see ourselves more small-batch oriented, really sticking to kind of the craft and the art of [distillation]”, said Vause. “Everything is going to be made by us, from scratch, raw materials to bottle. We’re bottling everything, we’re labeling everything. We’re not bringing in spirits from outside. We’re doing it within house.”
Vause expects to have Noble Cut spirits on shelves by Spring 2017.
“Right out of the gate we are going to release two flavors of whiskey, and then we’ll add to that portfolio,” said Vause. “As revenue and the business dictates we’ll get into more the traditional barrel-aged whiskies and bourbons, and in conjunction with that we want to do a collection reminiscent of European style, like limoncello and grappa.”
Those initial flavored whiskeys will include dark cherry and a sweet apple whiskey. Starting with flavored spirits cuts down the time needed to get product to market, with each needing to age only about three months.
“We don’t want to send anything out that we wouldn’t enjoy,” said Vause. “It’s kind of our standard of quality will be anything that we would or would not drink. And we’ve been drinking a lot of whiskey for a long time, so we feel like we know what we want.”
Noble Cut Distillery is located at 750 Cross Pointe Rd, next to the Kindred Artisan Ales production brewery.