As has been made clear, we love whiskey at The Takeout, and I am for sure that fan club’s president. So when I saw a list that featured one bourbon-maker from each of the United States (plus D.C.), I clicked extremely hard on that link. And I was not disappointed, for in that slideshow I learned something delightful: Hawaii is the only state that doesn’t produce bourbon. America may have its problems, but bless us, we’ve got our pot stills in the right place.
So, that so-called paradise of white beaches and lush greenery and nice people and delicious food doesn’t have bourbon, eh? Then what does it have, I hear you ask? It has Paniolo Whiskey, which is produced by the people at Hali’imaile Distilling. To make it, Hali’imaile’s distillers blend Kentucky-sourced bourbon with “unique Upcountry Maui ingredients,” in particular fresh pineapple. Before the blend, the golden pineapple is distilled down to neutral—so no, this is not pineapple-flavored bourbon. The resulting blended spirit possesses “an extremely clean and smooth finish with balanced aromas and flavors of caramel, brown sugar, and sweet corn.”
Good on ya, USA Today! In honor of National Bourbon Heritage Month, which was first introduced in 2007, the outlet sought out one bourbon from each state, and it’s a delightful read. The list includes some of my favorites, including Illinois distillery Koval, Colorado’s Laws, and J. Henry & Sons of Wisconsin, as well as some I’d never heard of, like Port Chilkoot Distillery of Haines, Alaska.
It’s a good list, and well worth the clickthrough, if only so you can shake your fist over your excluded favorites (whither Two James of Detroit?).