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{ an excerpt from Urban Daddy }  

At XO Alambic in Ellensburg, Washington, the master of ceremonies is Berle Wilson Figgins, Jr.  Long name, short temper.  He is a fierce enforcer of quality standards in the stillhouse and blending room.  A veteran vintner, he traded a brilliant career as a viticulturist and winemaker in exchange for a starring role as master distiller, and won multiple accolades for his spirits straight out of the gate.  The Walla Walla native has old friends who still call him by his childhood nickname, Rusty.   

Perhaps that is true, but this chap is quite skilful.

Figgins was dubbed 'Western Innovator' by the Capital Press newspaper and has been called an 'influential act' by SEATTLE magazine, both in connection to his distilling activities, and he is considered by many to be a folk hero amongst Washington craft distillers.  He crafted the first commercial brandy, rye whisky and single-malt whisky in Washington.  Attributable to such experience, Figgins is going grey and is thinning up top.  Perhaps a trifle bit before his time, we think, but paying one's dues and ensuring high quality would tend to do that to a gentleman-farmer and third-generation distiller. When asked about what motivates his daily work, Figgins retorts, "Isn't it about time?" ~ seemingly mentioning both achieving one's goals AND the practice of cask maturation, all in one breath.  

Mr Figgins is about to reveal a fourteen-year-old, XO-class brandy, with a brandy-based liqueur and an apple brandy soon to follow.   

Well, it's about time!                                                                                                                           ~ UD

Master Distiller & Founder

XO Alambic fine brandy

Rusty Figgins

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