Jimmy and I give lots of distillery tours at John Emerald and there seem to be several questions we get over and over, so we thought sharing and answering those questions might be a good introduction to John Emerald and this blog. So here we go:
Why did you guys start John Emerald Distilling? In a word, Lily. Yes, my three year old grand daughter lead us to become distillery owners. You see, we had a prior business that for 10 years kept my son and partner Jimmy constantly on the road. Our prior company, Croydon Finishing, Inc., applied interior decorative plaster and our best customer was Louis Vuitton. We were fortunate enough to do all their South American work and a lot of the North American work with a few jobs in places like Guam and South Africa. So as you might realize we were on the road a lot.
When Lily was born both Jimmy and I knew we could not miss her growing up. So a decision was made to get rid of Croydon and look for an occupation that would keep us close to home. As we were home brewers, we thought about a brewery, but it seemed a new brewery was starting up every day. Then we heard about craft distilling and with little hesitation we were off to different spirit schools to learn the trade. Whiskey school in Breckinridge, CO, Rum school in Loveland, CO, a technical distilling course at the Seibel Institute in Chicago finishing with a course at Springbank Distillery in Campbellton, Scotland rounded out our distillery education. Two years from pulling the trigger on this distillery idea, we are happily producing whiskey, rum, gin, vodka and Muscadine brandy.
Who is John Emerald? John Emerald Sharp was my father and Jimmy's grand father. Since family (i.e. Lily) was the reason for starting the company we thought it appropriate to name the company and our products after our ancestors. Basically honoring their spirits with the spirits we create. John Emerald was a special guy. He lived a life to be proud of with love for God, his family and fellow man. We have great stories about John Emerald and look forward to sharing them with you.
Who are the ancestors each product is named after? We tried hard to match the personality of each ancestor with a particular spirit. In a later posts we'll go in depth on each namesakes personality and life, but for now we'll keep it short.
John's Alabama Single Malt Whiskey - Our signature spirit and we think the spirit of John Emerald resides in each and every bottle of John Emerald Single Malt. A spirit like John that's smart, adventurous, playful and brings out the best in life.
Hugh Wesley's Gin - Throughout his life Hugh was a wise visionary with a spirit of adventure, a man not afraid to think out of the box, much like the Gin that that carries his name.
Spurgeon's Barrel Aged Rum - Somehow we think Spurge would be proud to be the name sake of our rum. Spurgeon was a big man with a gruff exterior and a gentle interior. His spirit was bold, feisty, cocky and kind all at the same time. We here at John Emerald would like to think our Alabama Rum embodies the spirit of Spurge.
Gene's Spiced Rum - Gene was a fun loving guy with an infectious smile. His happy side was countered by a straight forward personality. Like Gene, JED's Spiced Rum has a firm foundation, mixed with spices for a "fun loving" flavor.
These are just a few of the questions we get, but in the spirit of brevity we'll stop with these. If you have your own questions email us at jed@johnemeralddistilling and we'll do our best to answer them.