Driftless Glen Brandy USA
This is killer brandy! The weather in Wisconsin isn’t too friendly for grape growing, but the cold winters make for great brandy drinking climes, and folks from the Badger State clamor for the stuff.
Our friends, Renée and Brian, Bemis decided to go find their own. Produced in Cognac and aged 5 years in Limousin oak from local forests, the spirit is then shipped to the distillery where it is finished in ex-bourbon barrels for a few months. It has all the classic brandy notes of new leather, hints of dried fruits and spice with an added depth of vanilla, apple core and a touch of oak from the ex-bourbon barrels.
Longtime Bounty Hunter clients Brian and Renée Bemis came to visit the Wine Bar and Smokin’ BBQ in 2016, from their home along the Baraboo river. During their visit, they brought along a couple of bottles they wanted us to try. We tasted them and jumped at the chance to bring these lovely spirits to you.
Brian is a successful entrepreneur who owns a number of auto dealerships in suburban Chicago. Renée is a world-class sculptor with an impressive array of artwork on display at Driftless Glen. The couple is passionate about wine and spirits, and began looking into the possibility of building their own distillery some time ago. In 2012 that dream became reality. They have a state-of-the-art facility with a custom Vendôme 550-gallon copper pot still and a 42-foot column still that can churn out high quality distillate with ease. They have secured the services of the award-winning Nik Flora (formerly of one of our favorite distilleries, Smooth Ambler in West Virginia) to helm of the distilling part of the operation. Renee’s creativity and Brian’s business background this company is poised for huge things. So far, they are producing around 8 barrels a day of gin, vodka, rye and bourbon.
Wisconsin is a unique place. Its landscape was largely created by continental glaciation over the last 2.5 million years, and the rivers created by these glacial movements run in deep valleys carved into beds of limestone—à la Kentucky. These rivers are the perfect water source for fine spirits. The sandy soils also act as a natural filtration system, bringing clean flavors and bright tones to the drinks produced. It’s a majestic setting, and we felt like it was time for them to share these spirits with the world. Amidst the bluffs overlooking the river, Brian and Renée have built a 5-star restaurant to create an unparalleled visitor experience. It has become a popular tourist destination and will only continue to grow.