Holiday season is just around the corner at Heritage Distilling and Dain Grimmer, master distiller and director of production, and the rest of Heritage’s crew have been hard at work producing 10,000 advent calendars. These are not the cardboard contraptions filled with chocolate from your youth but a jazzed-up adult version featuring 24 miniature bottles of the distillery’s favorites. Beginning December 1, you open the dated slot and pull out the mini for a fun way to celebrate the season.
Grimmer can be found working his spirit magic at Heritage’s Flagship in Gig Harbor, Washington, with his faithful companion, Hegel, the distillery dog, probably touting a Hawaiian-inspired button-down and rocking out to The Gorillaz.
1) Which of your own current offerings are you digging the most?
I am a huge gin and rye whiskey fan so my go-to bottles are always our award winning Elk Rider Crisp Gin and Elk Rider Rye. Gin distillations are a big deal around the distillery, we like to wear aloha shirts and turn on tropical music. The Crisp Gin makes the perfect gin and tonic, garnished with a fresh slice of fresh grapefruit. For a rye whiskey, the Elk Rider Rye is so smooth and peppery, and I am always whipping up some Old Pals with it. Even though these are my favorites I have secretly been drinking quite a bit of our Blood Orange Vodka and Dual Barrel Bourbon, you won’t find anything else like these out there.
2) Any spiritmaking pipe dreams you’re dying to make a reality?
Pineapple Gin: I like to drink gin and pineapple juice instead of a Bloody Mary as a morning beverage. Fried Chicken Bourbon — originally created as an HDC April Fool’s joke, it is still one of our most requested recipes. The Fried Chicken Bourbon is still a work in progress, but one day it will become the most delicious whiskeys on the market: get ready to pour it all over your waffles. Jungle Juice is becoming a reality and will be here soon enough. It is a one-time, one-off, super-secret recipe that will never be able to be replicated, and we only have five barrels of it.
3) What non-spirit beverage is in your glass most these days? What is your favorite way to enjoy it and where?
It’s rare to find something in my glass that is a non-spirit beverage, but besides spirits, I am a huge beer fan as well. I have gotten into barrel-aged beers lately and have been collecting them from wherever I can find them. I always buy two, one to drink right away and one to cellar for a few years. It is fascinating to see how barrel-aged beers change over time. My favorite way to enjoy it is in a nice glass with friends or my dog and our distillery dog, Hegel.
4) Favorite song, album or artist to jam out to while throwing a few down the hatch?
I love music and collect many different styles and genres so it is so hard to have to pick a favorite… If things are getting a little rowdy my favorite song to jam out to while throwing a few down the hatch would be The Alkaholiks featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard, “Hip Hop Drunkies.” An album to listen to through completion would have to be The Gorillaz “Plastic Beach.” When I just need to throw an artist on to get the music going then Gramatik is always a go-to. When there is good music playing you always need a set-up: I prefer two turntables, a pair of nice speakers and lots of friends and dogs to enjoy the party.