Empirical Spirits Enters the US Market

A brand new online store expands access to category-defying releases

Founded in 2017 by noma alumni Lars Williams and Mark Emil Hermansen, Copenhagen-based Empirical Spirits is set to fill a particular hole in the US spirit industry by expanding their online store (in partnership with Domestique) to ship to customers stateside. Whereas most American distilleries rely on strict, centuries-old spirit category rules, Empirical relies on flavor and flavor alone. Rather than call their product a gin …

Exploring the Tradition and Allure of Ming River Baijiu

A deep dive into the history, process and delights that surround the Chinese spirit

We’re sitting around a large table in central Chengdu, the fog-drenched capital of China‘s Sichuan province. Between bites of diced rabbit buried in a mountain of red chilies, guests empty thimble-sized glasses of a sweet clear liquid called baijiu with shouts of “Ganbei!” This is a traditional celebratory feast: each individual at the table will methodically, one by one, toast to everybody else and then …

The Spirit of Experimentation: Westward Whiskey

We tour the brand’s facilities in Oregon

Straight ahead, through the front doors of Westward Whiskey‘s new distillery, there are dozens of bottles in varying shapes and sizes with an assortment of labels tucked into a glass case. These are the Portland brand’s archive bottles, stretching back to when they were originally founded in 2004 as House Spirits Distillery. There’s a small-batch bourbon whiskey, an original version of Krogstad’s Aquavit, an Oregon ouzu, …