Water of Life

By Karen Weik 

For over 20 years French Lick Winery has enjoyed the spotlight as one of Indiana’s premier wineries. Today, they share that distinction with a sister brand, their award-winning distillery, Spirits of French Lick. 

Established in 2016, and one of Indiana’s largest artisan distilleries, they feature a double-pot still process—a popular method prior to prohibition—using primarily Indiana-grown grains. “Respect the grain,” is a business mantra they live and breathe by. 

 “Distillation is agricultural, and our motto is, ‘Respect the grain’. From field to glass we present to you the finest in small batch American distilling, bringing both quality and tradition back to our state,” explains John Doty, owner of Spirits of French Lick. 

Featuring four pillars: bourbon, brandy, botanicals and American whiskey, and with Indiana’s only commercially-made absinthe, Head Distiller Alan Bishop shows his chops, after nearly 20 years mastering the craft. The Lee W. Sinclair, a four-grain bourbon with a mash bill of corn, wheat, oats and specialty barley malt, is their flagship product. It is also a powerful testimony to the historic Sinclair, once a prominent French Lick businessman, responsible for making the West Baden Springs Hotel dome the architectural feat it is.  

Stamper’s Creek Rum is their latest release, with the soon-to-follow, Hoosier Apple Brandy. Heavy-bodied and full-flavored, this brandy is destined to delight with notes of candied apple, hazelnut and toffee, and a rich, fresh apple aroma. And purchasing Spirits of French Lick products is not limited to locals. Online buying can be made at www.seelbachs.com, with distribution to 33 states.

From single-pass distillation, Calvados-style apple brandy, to the citrus-forward Old Tom Gin, and the Scandinavian-influenced Aquavit, Spirits of French Lick is carving a name for themselves in an industry where whiskey was once called uisce beatha—Gaelic, for water of life.   www.spiritsoffrenchlick.com