Albany Distilling Company recreates a 250 year old rum recipe

Posted at: 03/24/2013 8:28 AM
Updated at: 03/24/2013 6:40 PM
By: Dan Bazile

The discovery by archeologists of an old rum distillery in Albany is getting some new attention. The area's first distilling company since prohibition is paying tribute to that history with the launch of a new rum.

Albany Distilling Company has brought a 250 year-old rum recipe into the 21st century.

“As far as we know, this is as faithful as what they were making and what people in Albany were drinking 250 years ago,” says Matthew Jager of Albany Distilling Company.

It’s the Quackenbush Still House, named after an 18th century rum distillery in downtown Albany.

“We're using Caribbean molasses; we're using fancy molasses which means they've not been processed. It's pretty similar to what they would have had in the 1700's,” say owners John Curtin and Matthew Jager, who are launching their newest spirit in conjunction with the opening of an exhibit at the Albany Visitors Center.

“This new product, the rum, is kind of our tribute to Albany's first distillery which stood 50 yards in that direction a couple of hundred years ago. It's our homage to the history of this town,” says Jager.

The history was unearthed a little over ten years ago. Archeologists found what is considered the best preserved example of a colonial era distillery ever discovered in the United States.

“It's fascinating to think that this huge industry was located right here in Quackenbush Square,” says Kathy Quandt of the Albany Visitors Center.

Archeologists found wooden vats and tubes that were bored out of tree limbs. Some of the artifacts were on display at the Visitors Center for the celebration of Albany Distilling Company's new rum.

Jager and Curtin did their research and talked to the archeologists who made the discovery to come up with the brew they feel defines Albany's rum history.

Albany has one of the longest and most colorful histories of any of the cities, colonies, now the states; it's nice to be able to celebrate that,” says Curtin.