John & I had the pleasure of visiting A. Smith Bowman Bourbon Distillery to cap off our July 4th holiday weekend!
When ASB first reached out to me, I was thrilled to find out we had Virginia’s First Bourbon being made just an hour from us, in Fredericksburg, VA. The main focus is on craft bourbon, but they experiment with gin and vodka as well – as we learned on our tour! ASB offers complimentary tours every hour, where a knowledgeable tour guide will share Bowman family history, and show you behind-the-scenes where everything is distilled, tested & where the barrels are stored (so many barrels!). They even have a state of the art lab where they are able to test the exact compounds in their liquors in order to be able to recreate the same exceptional products in the future!
Mira was our tour guide and she was absolutely fabulous! She told us that she came to the distillery for a tour a year ago and has been working there ever since. Her passion for the process is contagious and it seems like that’s a common trait of everyone that works there (just 16 employees!)
Not only is A. Smith Bowman Distillery the oldest distillery in Virginia, but it is also home of the winner of the World’s Best Bourbon! The Master Distiller, Brian Prewitt is constantly experimenting with new ideas for their small batch liquors and his creativity adds to the ASB experience. For example, one of the gins that we chose to taste after our tour – Tinkerman’s Curiously Bright and Complex, has lemongrass, green tea and citrus notes, not just overwhelming juniper flavors! (We ended up bringing a bottle of this home with us.)
I don’t want to spoil too much of what we learned on the tour, because you most definitely should put this on your list to visit and learn for yourself! I will say that you can tell there is something unique about the distillery, that you can glean from their focus not on mass production, but instead quality product. Like I mentioned before, ASB is located in Fredericksburg, just a short drive or train ride from Richmond & Washington, DC. I highly recommend making the trip to experience the tour and the tasting first hand!
Their stills, George & Mary, pictured above, are named after the parents of the Bowman Brothers. Learn more about the process here.
You can also find A. Smith Bowman’s Bourbons in ABC stores so be sure to search here to find out where you can buy their liquors near you.