When a new craft alcohol place opens up in the Capital Region, I have to give it a try. If I’m gonna go out with friends and drink, I might as well try and keep it local, right?

The end of last year, owner Doug Estad took over an old Bruegger’s Bagels production facility and turned Capital Distillery into the newest place for craft cocktails in Albany. As I wrote about in January, they had already been producing in August but didn’t open the tasting room until a few months later.

I had the chance to try 5 of their 6 own products: gin, pink gin, vodka, rose vodka, NY Honey and NY Maple. They describe each one on their website:

  • Gin – a smooth gin made with 7 botanicals with a light citrus and a sweet nutty aroma on the nose, with a pallet of light juniper, lime and soft almond finish.
  • Pink Gin– a citrus forward gin with added orange peel, grapefruit peel and real cherry juice to in order to create a natural pink hue and add an element of fruit to it with grapefruit and orange on the nose, has a pallet of lemongrass, lime and a cherry finish.
  • Vodka- smooth and made from local grains
  • Rose Vodka- smooth Vodka blended with 20% New York dry Cabernet Franc Rosé. It tastes just like a dry rosé while packing in an ABV. of 40% making it perfect for cocktails.
  • NY Honey- made from wine from New York grapes distilled and blended with real New York Honey. The nose is mild with hints of perfume and honey, with a pallet of lavender and honey.
  • NY Maple- starts with Natural locally sourced maple syrup fermented and then distilled like a whiskey. The nose has notes of caramel, vanilla and maple syrup with a savory pallet of walnut, maraschino cherry and maple syrup.

I usually like my liquor a bit more aged but I gave the flight a try. Honestly, I was surprised by just how smooth their vodka and gin are. It was to be expected that my favorite would be the one that is distilled like a whiskey, but overall, they were great. The best part is that a lot of these would be great in cocktails too, really versatile!


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