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Heritage Distilling Company releases Batch No. 12 spirits

Drinking Camp

Heritage Distilling's new spirits line is perfect for football parties.

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To say the first day of NFL training camp is essentially the launch of a very long holiday centered around not just football but also eating and drinking is a pretty accurate statement. And though this isn't an article about football, or the Seahawks in particular, it is in regard to a happy little boozy related coincidence on the local level.

Yeah, uh ... coincidence.

Heritage Distilling Company, based in Gig Harbor, has been gaining momentum lately, with its products making an appearance at major retailers and dining establishments alike. Furthermore, it is the only Washington distillery offering an exclusive, hands-on distilling experience with its My Batch courses. That being said, when we here at the Weekly Volcano caught wind of its upcoming release of another boozy line, we had to check it out.

Now, if you're sitting there wondering what all of this has to do with the NFL, hold your horses. I'm getting to it.

HDC's new releases, unveiled July 25 at the Tahoma Market in Fife, are collectively called Batch No. 12. Their labels are emblazoned with a certain local NFL team's blue and green, but again, this is happy coincidence. The "12" isn't a direct reference to the 12th man fans of fall-featured festivities in football. Rather, as HDC co-founder and head distiller Justin Stiefel tells me, "We have worked on this product concept since the end of 2013; it took us 12 attempts to find the right recipe for each spirit in this lineup. We have tremendous hometown pride in what we do, and we want to share that pride with spirits fans. This product line is hitting store shelves just in time for spirit fans to enjoy for the rest of the year and beyond."

The unveiling of Batch No. 12's vodka, rye and bourbon was hyped up, with social media abuzz and an appearance by Steifel on KOMO radio proclaiming it NOT the first day of training camp, but rather the first day of drinking camp! Festivities were set to begin at noon, with specials including a buy-two-bottles-get-a-free-tee deal.

When I arrived early, I found that several cases had already been purchased, with a continuous trickle of boozehounds scooping up bottles to take home. T-shirts were flying out like hotcakes! One woman came in with a grocery list from her coworkers that included 22 bottles of Batch No. 12 Vodka and 42 bottles of the Batch No. 12 Bourbon. For a first-time release of this nature for HDC, I'd deem it a huge success.

Other launch events occurred throughout the week, putting Batch No. 12 products on the shelves at Harbor Greens, IGA Grocers, Trader Joes and a few other major retailers. Plus, it'll be making an appearance at some of your favorite watering holes such as The Hub in Tacoma's Stadium District. 

Stiefel went on to tell me about upcoming Batch No. 12 festivities, including some other colored-label themes such as crimson/grey, purple/gold, orange/black and black/red in time for fall, and a launch party in August hosted by the Harmon Tap Room.

Now that you know the what, the where and I have your attention, let's talk the flavor. Here are the taster notes: Batch No. 12 vodka is a 100 percent corn vodka, super smooth and great for cocktails. Batch No. 12 bourbon is everything we love about bourbons, sweet, but with some heat behind it, with notes of vanilla, rich plantains, and caramel and incredibly smooth for 92 proof. Batch No. 12 rye is a little spicy with a hint of sweet that rolls across your tongue. The rye is very limited, and it should quickly sell out.

The Batch No. 12 line is only available for a limited time, but its sure to run through the end of drinking camp, which Steifel tells me ends in February. Practice moderation folks. That's a mighty long run.


HERITAGE DISTILLING COMPANY, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday, 3207 57th St. Ct. NW, Gig Harbor, 253.509.0008

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