Right back where we started from!
It’s been an extremely busy few months for Lost Lantern--after eight months on the road, we spent most of the spring and early summer in Vermont (minus a few side trips to New York City and southern New England). We used this time to begin to actualize everything we accomplished on the road. We had our connections, our warm leads on exciting single casks, the pieces that would become our first blend. Now, we had to execute… and we did. Our first blended craft whiskey is currently being slow-proofed at the distillery that’s helping us out with bottling. Our first seven or so single casks are already there as well, with more on the way, just waiting to be bottled later this year.
This is really happening. Our first whiskies will be released within the next… actually, I’d better not put a timeframe on it. Not all the pieces are in place yet. Most, but not all.
And that’s why we’re in California.
We want to make sure our whiskey gets to the people who will really be excited by it, who will understand what we’re doing and want to explore the nuances of craft whiskey. We want to court the people who already love Scotch independent bottlers, and are intrigued by the idea of a company operating on a similar model but for American craft whiskey… as well as the people who already believe in American craft whiskey and are always seeking out unique new spirits.
So we’re out in California talking to distributors, introducing ourselves to whiskey bars and retail stores, and explaining what we’re up to and talking about our first few releases. It’s one of the last few steps in actually getting our whiskey out to market.
And we’re excited to say that people out here, at least in the Bay Area where we’ve been spending our time, really do GET IT. So far, just about everyone we’ve talked to is excited both about our model and about the actual whiskies we’re pouring for them--both our first blend and some of the single casks. We’re thrilled. We always knew that Lost Lantern would have a pretty specific market of high-end whiskey drinkers, but it’s great to get the validation from the people who sell to those drinkers that they also believe there’s a genuine thirst out there for what we’re doing.
We don’t have any firm news yet, but we can say that our time out here has been very productive and bodes well for Lost Lantern in California.
One of the great things about our nearly constant travels is that we can usually set aside a little bit of time for enjoying the wonders of nature wherever we end up. We haven’t made it to any National Parks this time, but we did do some hiking around Mt. Tam on a very foggy day and have spent several days working right on the coast in far northern Sonoma. California is a spectacular place, both its cities and its wildernesses, and we’re excited that it looks like we’ll be out here at least a few times a year.