Saturday, March 26, 2011

Las Vegas Distillery Starts It's Stills

There is a new distillery in Nevada.  George Racz, a native Hungarian now New York transplant to Las Vegas decided to put his roots down in nearby Henderson. His plans have remained in tact. He persisted in his dream investing hundreds of thousands of dollars and that of his family.  He wants to produce spirit and remains optimistic. George studied with Kent Fleischman and Don Poffenroth at  Dry Fly Distillery in Spokane, Washington before setting up his Las Vegas Distillery. Mr. Racz's grandfather used to run a still in Transylvania, so his Hungarian family was open to helping him with his dream. He has now taken his passion one step further.

The Las Vegas Distillery just began distilling yesterday on Thursday, April 24, 2011, but this was not as easy as it seems.  George had to lobby his way through the Nevada Legislature just to secure Nevada's first distillery license. The incline to trailblaze through Nevada's bureaucracy derserves our respect. He still has a fight so that he can simply offer samples of his products at the distillery. Soon, he will sell product and we understand that the Wirtz family will help with local distribution.

The Distillery has 111 of small casks made by a Minnesota cooperage known as Black Swan, which are for sale for $777. This is similar to what Glenglassaugh is doing with its cask offering, but with a few marketing twists.  For more information, contact the distillery.  The distillery offers tours, but it is very challenging for some taxi drivers, so it is wise to phone first and rent a car.

The distillery will start by making spirits that can be aged as well as sold with little aging. It does not have immediate plans to release a bourbon, but is using other grains. The owner has collaborated with Dry Fly Distillery, of Spokane, Washington, which is now selling a single malt, gin, and vodka. The owners of Dry Fly studied with Christian Karl Distillery in Germany.  The Las Vegas Distillery uses machinery manufactured in Germany, as well.

The distillery has and will continue to purchase most of its grain from Nevada farms, wherever possible. We understand that there is an emphasis on organic grains in the distillation process.  The distillery utilizes an reverse osmosis before water is introduced to the stills.

Plans are for eventually distilling multi-grain aged spirit, like the Tuthilltown Distillery, but expect Las Vegas Distillery to first cater to The Strip. To do so, it will produce vodka, gin, and network with bars to provide products that mixologists are anxious to see locally produced.  George is open to many alternatives, even the use of non-traditional, yet indigenous products that can be infused during the distilling process.

I wish George luck and consider myself fortunate to have visited him at the distillery's infancy. His positive attitude suggests that he will continue to persist in the trade.  George's motto is "Follow your heart and raise your spirit." Let's hope that his product is good enough to put Las Vegas Distillery on the map and his bottles on shelves nearer to you.

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