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Crafting the Perfect Spirits: A Look Into the World of Hatch Distilling Co.

Egg Harbor, Wisconsin

 

Crusin’ Rating:  C

Booze Rating: C

 

Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Beer Wine Distillery Blogger- Hatch Distilling Co- Exterior

This week, we are wrapping up our Door County Series - but don’t fear - there are still plenty of spots in Door County for us to visit on future trips.  Our final review will be the spot that hosted our recent review of Mixed Media Meadery, Hatch Distilling Company!  This was a bit of a two-for-one where we got to try the spirits at Hatch Distilling and some great mead all in one visit.  If you’re a little fuzzy on the details, Mixed Meadery was a pop up that we happily stumbled upon when we decided to stop in at Hatch Distilling to do a review along with a large cohort of our guest reviewers: The Artist, Thirsty Troll, and the Buffalo Prince.  This coming right on the heels of our other Egg Harbor review of One Barrel Brewing Company, which made for a lovely walking booze cruise on a chilly Door County afternoon.


Hatch Distilling Company stands a mere stones throw from One Barrel Brewing Company and Shipwrecked Brewpub as well as a great little lunch spot called Mezzanine.  Being so close to spots to eat and drink definitely puts Egg Harbor as one of our our favored communities to spend time in while we are in Door County.  A new-looking, black-metal clad building with plenty of corrugated metal, Hatch stands somewhat imposing on a cloudy day with its dark and sharp lines.  Entering the tasting room though, colored a sort of slate when looking at the outside, does lend a certain amount of coziness - I suppose as cozy as metal and wood can get without a fireplace. 



As I stated in our Mixed Media review, Hatch was absolutely abuzz with activity when we visited, so much so that we had a tough time finding a table, which was a good problem for Hatch to be having, but not great for us with such a short time in Door County.  Luckily, we were able to find a table and while most of our team entertained themselves with mead tastings and cocktails I snagged a flight of a few of the spirits offered by the distillery, carefully doing this tasting before I became overwhelmed by some funky and flavorful mead options. 


Hatch’s owner, from what we can tell, has worked in agriculture most of his life and that has led to a close working relationship with local farmers in Door County.  We learned that the corn, rye, apples, and honey come from Door County which is great.  You know how much local means to us.  Beyond that, though, we couldn’t find a lot of information on where everything else comes from - unlike the very local Mixed Meadia. Perhaps it’s the bottle shape, but Hatch Distlling does remind me ever-so-slightly of Doundrins Distilling in Cottage Grove.  I think it may be because they have a similar feel to them. 


I snagged flight of four and went back to our hard-earned table with the rest of the team.  Remind us to not attempt to travel around Door County during Sister Bay's Fall Fest.  I wanted to pick things a little off the beaten path that I noticed, but -in hindsight - I should have tried “Dos Hobos” Hatch's agave spirit.


Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Beer Wine Distillery Blogger- Hatch Distilling Co

Gin (40% ABV) - Here is one offering that does use foraged juniper berries and local white spruce growth in the process which is nice to see.  I was really looking forward to a gin that could showcase some spruce and I picked up juniper and black pepper on the nose, with a little sweetness that I came to learn comes from honey.  Hatch, like the now-famous Caledonia Spirits in Vermont distills its gin base and vodka base from honey.  An interesting approach that I’d like to learn more about.  This gin had a slight sweetness when tasting, citrus rind, peppercorn and juniper.  I don’t typically like the gins that exhibit both citrus and juniper in equal parts.  While they are often billed as the best of both worlds I really prefer when those flavors aren’t battling your tastebuds for first place.  I’ve touched on this previously when speaking of London Dry vs “New American Gin”.  I want it to lean light botanical and citrusy, or the cleaner juniper deep botanicals, otherwise you’re left with a sort of odd middle ground where I find myself thinking I would go for one of the other extremes depending on the cocktail.  


Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Beer Wine Distillery Blogger- Hatch Distilling Co

Limoncello (28% ABV) - You know, I have had a lot of Limoncello that is overly sweet and I am not a fan of.  To be honest, I might not just be a big fan of Limoncello as a liqueur.  This limoncello smelled strongly of lemon zest and grain alcohol.  I got lots of sugar, some bright lemon zest and then it ended sharply in boozey burn.  I think I wanted to see a little more sweetness and definitely a lot more lemon.  My own attempts at home have also come out much cloudier which I would wonder at why it doesn’t have that trademark pale yellow opaqueness but I don’t know enough to comment on if it’s a negative or not.  


Apple Brandy (40% ABV) - Something I do know a bit about, this apple brandy poured a very light gold and had sweet red apple skin notes on the nose.  I thought though that this wasn’t overly apple-y or showing much apple character when tasting.  I actual thought it leaned toward an initially grassy note, with some sweetness and offered little in the way of distinguishing it from a standard brandy minus any sort of grape characteristic, of course.


Fellowship Bourbon (45% ABV) - So, we’ve got a bit of a unique situation here that we have a blended bourbon of one made here (presumably in Wisconsin) and another made in Northern Minnesota for a bourbon featuring a high rye mash bill while still maintaining that bourbon category.  With earthy and coffee notes on the nose, I was really hoping to pick up a little spice rather than some trademark bourbon sweetness of light caramel.  I tasted lots of corn here, followed by some floral notes - a new one for me when tasting bourbon, and then some spice followed by a fairly high burn.


In all, I was a lot bigger fan of the Mead than I was of the spirits during this stop.  I would like to go back to Hatch when we have some time to really take some time with the spirits and test them in a cocktail -in depth- I had a sip or two from the team, but not enough to really get into it.  At this first stop though, I think that, while it’s nice to have a spot that is dedicated to some cocktails in Egg Harbor, the spirits left me wanting.  It’s hard to say you shouldn’t stop in and try it, especially if you are going to be trying the mead and beer offerings in Egg Harbor, but I think that there is definitely room for improvement at Hatch.  


Until next time, keep on crusin’, don’t stop boozin’!


To learn more about Hatch Distilling please visit their website at: www.hatchdistilling.com or on Facebook: @HatchDistilling or on Instagram: @HatchDistilling




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