There was one problem when Jason Barrett was faced with taking over the family button manufacturing business and it led to a whiskey distillery being born.
Here’s how the story goes: Jason's Great Grandfather started a button manufacturing business in Rochester, New York that was world renowned. It’s said that Jason would have been in line to take over the family business, except for one thing — he is color blind. Selling only black buttons wasn’t an option so he decided instead of making black buttons he would honor the values of hard work, entrepreneurship, and community that his grandfather taught him by pouring them into his passion for crafting spirits.
And so Black Button Distilling was born.
According to a 2020 economic impact study, New York is the second largest state in terms of distillers in the country – 186 and counting. Black Button Distilling is Rochester’s first grain-to-glass distillery in the city since prohibition.
“What's nice about Rochester, New York is that our water here in the city limits comes from Hemlock Lake, which has a natural limestone shelf in it,” Jeff Fairbrother, Black Button Head Distiller told us. “It’s much like the water you would expect from Kentucky so it's very clean.”
Another plus about being based in New York, the state has a good climate to age whiskey with huge temperature swings in the 30 to 40 degree range, which helps push the whiskey into the barrel, Jeff told us.
While 95% of their ingredients come from within 45 miles, what sets Black Button apart is its distillery method.
“We have a hybrid column pot distillation, which is very unique and what I think gives us a lot of character,” Jeff pointed out to us. “Instead of just doing a pot distillation, we also utilize the whiskey column as well.”
What’s in the box
We’re proud to be partnering with Black Button to feature a whiskey that’s a tasting room exclusive. It’s never been shipped before.
“Our Pre-Prohibition Bourbon is a different take on our flagship bourbon,” Jeff explained. “What we wanted to do is follow the style of that era. We only make about 400 bottles every year. We select three barrels that are ready to blend at that time.”
Also in the box is their Bourbon Cream, which starts out as locally made cream and has bourbon added to it.
Black Button Distilling Pre-Prohibition Whiskey
80% corn, 10% rye and 10% malted barley.
Aged four years and bottled at a 92 Proof.
"It boasts the same strength as a whiskey crafted 100-plus years ago. It is intended to be a little rough around the edges and bold on the nose, while finishing smoothly."
Black Button Distilling Bespoke Bourbon Cream
Winner of Gold at the Concours International de Lyon competition and the John Barleycorn Awards.
“Our Bourbon Cream is a love letter to New York State agriculture and dairy. Our small-batch bourbon meets farm fresh New York State cream and creates a warmer, more luxurious experience than an Irish Cream can.”
Sign up to RackHouse Whiskey Club by Feb. 10, 2022 to try some for yourself.