How it all Began
Updated: Jun 20
In 2012, development began on our first product, Hazel 63 Rum. Using premium molasses from the Caribbean, we began to test a variety of recipes as we distilled, aged, and proofed down each test batch. After much deliberation, we settled on a recipe that has lovingly become known as a "rumsky." Originating from molasses,
after distillation the product is aged on a toasted French Oak and charred American oak. These oak flavors blend together and bring a whisky to feel to this aged rum. Choosing not to add sugars into the finished product, the rum is an oaky, sippable spirit, versatile enough to drink simply on the rocks, in an old-fashioned, or even our very own creation, the tropic thunder!
But let's go back just a touch further, to the juicy details of the untold story behind what we now know as "Cultivated Cocktails." In 2011, Taylor's good friend Adam decided to get married. We all know what that means, yep, bachelor party. To be fair, this particular night out was pretty tame, compared to the many bachelor parties that have graced the distillery with their presence and our experience with that, Adam's was by all accounts reasonable and mature. It did however include a visit to a local distillery, Troy and Son's. Taylor is an engineer, by degree but also by nature. Constantly creating and planning in his brain that never actually shuts off, even when he's sleeping. Honestly, so annoying for his amazing wife...hehe. Taylor's brain is pretty amazing, and never ceases to stop being wild and inventive, while cautious and calculated at the same time. Seeing the inner workings of a distillery, dawned in Asheville no less, immediately sent him into over-drive on the thought of creating his own still, spirits and distillery. That same night, after all the adventures and when everyone else was just a
bout as done as they could be, Taylor sat in what was at that time, the last stop of the night, Lexington Avenue Brewing. He plotted out the thoughts that had been swirling in his brain all evening onto a napkin, and shared his idea with his cousin Jake, who was also part of the bachelor night. It's cliché, yes. But quite legitimately, like all great ideas, this one started on a napkin. Now, here's where we
should clarify something. Taylor Howard is not a big drinker. He most certainly wasn't previous to owning a distillery, and even now, imbibes here and there, but nothing crazy. So, this napkin idea was entirely a sober situation. Seriously, who better to own a distillery that someone who likely won't consume the profit?
After some discussion and planning, the birth of the distillery from napkin to reality was underway. Taylor's cousin, Jake, who he shared the idea with that evening, jumped on board. They were just 25 at the time, motivated, young and incredibly intelligent. Really though, a
dangerous combo when you think about it. Little did they know how tumultuous that distillery road could be. The booze business isn't just science and engineering, as they quickly learned with a fun letter from the federal government about a certain unproven and unfound practice still that they were asked to disassemble. Was there a practice still? We plead the 5th.
That being said, Taylor Howard does not play in the grey when it comes to rules and law. It was go home or go big time...
Follow along as we continue to tell the story behind the nations fastest growing distillery. Trust us, it's a good one.
You can taste this product, as well as the rest of our line up including, gins, vodka, liqueurs, and more at our tasting retail location. Grab a tasting, sip a cocktail, and take home everything you need to cultivate your cocktail in the comfort of your own home.