Glacier Distilling Company, Coram, Montana

Glacier Distilling Company's Whisky Barn, U.S. Hwy 2 East, Coram, Montana

Glacier Distilling Company’s Whisky Barn, U.S. Hwy 2 East, Coram, Montana

After a satisfying breakfast at the Buffalo Café in Whitefish, Montana less than thirty minutes earlier, Ingrid and I are back on the road, driving along U.S. Hwy 2.

It’s about 10:00 AM and out of the corner of my eye on the left side I catch a glimpse of a sign, “Whisky Tastings.”

“Ingrid, did you see that sign?  It said ‘Whisky Tastings.’  Do you want to turn around and go back?”.  Not waiting for her reply, I pull the car into a roadside pullout, check for traffic, and turn around.

I don’t drink any alcohol, but Ingrid has a finely developed palate and appreciation for whiskey.  Sure, it’s only ten o’clock in the morning, and no, I’m not trying to get my wife liquored up, but I think it’s ‘her’ vacation, and she might have some fun at this place.

Glacier Distilling Company owner Nick Lee is just opening the doors to the Whisky Barn and welcomes us in.   This is where tastings are held and the heart of the distillery operation.

Lee hails from North Carolina and studied chemistry at university.  He says recent changes in Montana law allow the establishment of small distilleries such as Glacier.  As part of a community of small, start up distilleries, Lee and fellow distillers are hoping to grow the industry similar to the way micro-breweries have evolved.  That is, places will become known for their small, artisan whisky distilleries.

Chatting with Lee we discover he’s gotten his hands on a local recipe for whisky, or, more accurately, moonshine.  He tells us that early in the 1900s, Glacier National Park’s very first park ranger was married to Josephine Doody, and she was apparently making moonshine, a frowned-upon activity that eventually got her husband fired.  Her recipe included some corn (apparently an unusual ingredient.)  Glacier Distilling’s whiskey is inspired by this local Montana recipe.

Glacier Distilling Company's Nick Lee shows a bottle of Montana made whiskey and the still imported from Germany

Glacier Distilling Company’s Nick Lee shows a bottle of Montana made whiskey and the still imported from Germany

After sampling a number of spirits and Lee giving us an impromptu tour of the German-manufactured still, Ingrid chooses a couple of bottles.  It’s a great souvenir from our visit to Montana.

The Glacier Distilling Company, 10237 Highway 2 East, Coram, Montana (near Columbia Falls, MT)

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