Eastern Kille Distillery wins double gold at world competition

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From left, Eastern Kille earned a silver medal for Toasted Barrel Finish Barrel Strength Michigan Straight Bourbon, a double gold medal for its Barrel Strength Michigan Straight Bourbon and a bronze medal for Bottled in Bond Michigan Straight Rye. Courtesy Eastern Kille

Eastern Kille Distillery participated in the world’s largest spirits competition for the second year and earned its first double gold medal, the highest medal awarded.

The West Michigan-based spirits distiller earned a double gold medal for its Barrel Strength Michigan Straight Bourbon, a silver medal for Toasted Barrel Finish Barrel Strength Michigan Straight Bourbon and a bronze medal for Bottled in Bond Michigan Straight Rye at the 21st annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition features entries and judges from all over the world. This year, more than 50 judges tasted over 3,800 spirits.

Eastern Kille was the only Michigan distilled bourbon to be awarded a double gold medal.

“We founded our distillery hoping to make the best bourbon in America, without sourcing, distilling every drop in Michigan. Our Barrel Strength Bourbon is the most straightforward representation of our craft and winning a double gold medal for it at the most important bourbon competition is a huge accomplishment for our entire team,” said Steve Vander Pol, co-founder of Eastern Kille Distillery. “Earning medals for the three whiskies we entered this year is a validation of the past five years we have spent distilling and aging American whiskies and, hopefully, a sign of things to come as we continue to increase the size and age of our whiskey inventory.”

Eastern Kille continues to focus on expanding and aging its whiskey inventory. The winning Barrel Strength Bourbon is available only as single-barrel picks throughout the state of Michigan with select retailers and occasionally in the Eastern Kille tasting room and cocktail bar located in Grand Rapids.

Beginning this summer, all batches of Eastern Kille’s widely distributed Michigan Straight Bourbon and Michigan Straight Rye will be a minimum of three years old. Starting in August, Eastern Kille’s Bottled in Bond Bourbon, a gold medal winner at last year’s competition, will become the first Michigan distilled bottled in bond bourbon available for statewide distribution.

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