10 Black-Owned Distilleries Making Some of America’s Finest Bottles

By Kara Newman

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Looking for your next pour? From a line-up of enticing tea-spiked vodkas to a 90-point rated Tennessee whiskey, this shortlist spotlights a variety of options from Black producers across the country.

Anteel Tequila

Co-owned by Nayana Ferguson, Don Ferguson and Mike Rowoldt, this Michigan-based label features hummingbird-adorned bottles of blanco and reposado Tequilas, plus a coconut-lime-flavored expression.

Black Momma Vodka

The line-up of vodkas from this company, helmed by CEO/President Vanessa Braxton (sister-in-law to singer/songwriter Toni Braxton), includes a number of tea-flavored varieties, including Green Tea, Sour Sop Tea and Chai Tea. She’s also behind the Black Momma Tea & Café franchise.

Brough Brothers

Owned by brothers Victor, Christian and Bryson Yarbrough, this newcomer to the West End neighborhood of Louisville, KY specializes in small-batch Bourbon.

Carbonadi Vodka

LA-born entrepreneur Ricky Miller III creates this silky luxury vodka with wheat from Italy’s Piedmont region filtered through rare black Carbonado diamonds. It’s also a Wine Enthusiast 2019 Top Spirit.

Du Nord Craft Spirits

Owned by Chris Montana, also the president of the American Craft Spirits Association, this Minneapolis distillery offers a line-up of vodka, gin, whiskey, and apple and coffee liqueurs. Note: the distillery established a GoFundMe page to repair its warehouse, which was severely damaged during recent protests.

Fresh Bourbon

Lexington native Sean Edwards founded this Kentucky label in 2017 and recently announced plans to build a 34,000-square-foot distillery to make Bourbon and other whiskeys.

Loft + Bear

California spring water and organic winter wheat star in this line of small-batch vodkas. Founder Paul Ryan Elliot, a Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 honoree, created the company in downtown LA in 2014.

Revel Spirits

Avila is an agave spirit from Mexico that drinks a lot like Tequila. (We sampled the robust barrel-aged reposado expression.) Helmed by CEO/founder Micah McFarlane, actor and producer Justin Hartley last month joined as a partner.

Ten to One Rum

Previously Starbucks’ youngest VP, Trinidad-born Marc Farrell now helms Ten to One, which includes white and dark rum bottlings, each made with a blend of rums sourced from various Caribbean islands.

Uncle Nearest

Under the leadership of Fawn Weaver, this Tennessee whiskey brand takes its name from Nathan “Nearest” Green, an enslaved man who distilled whiskey in the 1850s and taught young Jack Daniel the craft. Try the spicy, well-structured 1856 bottling.


Originally Published: https://www.winemag.com/2020/06/02/black-owned-spirits-vodka-bourbon/