MEET YOUR MAKER
[ an excerpt from Urban Daddy ]
At XO Alambic in Dayton, Washington, the master distiller and 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 skillful.
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. Attributable to such experience, Figgins is beginning to go grey and is thinning up top. Perhaps a trifle bit before his time, we think, because paying one's dues and ensuring high quality would tend to do that to a gentleman-farmer and third-generation distiller. He asks, "Isn't it about time?" seemingly mentioning both the practice of barrel maturation and achieving one's goals, all in one breath.
Mr Figgins is about to reveal an XO-quality brandy, an ancient grains whisky and a single-malt whisky upon their release in June 2018, with a honey-cream liqueur and a Calvados-style apple brandy soon to follow.
Well, it's about time! ~ UD