Since Catherine and I have at least some immunity from Covid we decided to go visit my daughter in New Orleans last weekend and, on the drive back, stopped in to Sugarfield Spirits Co. in Gonzales, LA, slightly more than a year before our last visit. Despite the pandemic, their operations and offerings have really grown. We got a tour of the now expanded distilling and fermentation facilities, and they have amazing things coming down the pike. Many new fruit liqueurs are in the mix, including a Meyer lemoncello we got to sample that will be released in the future. They are aging rums in regular port, white port, and toasted bourbon barrels; our sampling of these rums told us that, when released, they are going to be top drawer aged rums. But, there are many new products already available for purchase. They cooperated with a local spice market in Baton Rouge to create their gin, which has depth beyond juniper. They combined their coffee liqueur with cream to create a coffee and cream liqueur that Catherine and I think is just amazing. They are also using local honey, some of which is being made on site, to create barrel aged honey and a honey liqueur. Of course, we had to buy some of each.
On the Sugarfield Bourbon front, there are more exciting things happening. Their next batched bourbon release is in process, batched from high and low rye MGP bourbons, that will be bottled at a little over 100 proof. I got to sample it and it has a wonderful flavor profile, with notes of maple syrup mingling with amazing bourbon notes.
They also have another single barrel release, SR 2, which is an MGP Bourbon that is a corn-high barley mashbill, similar to SR 1 and Hokus Pokus Gold Select Barrel (and of which there are a few bottles left.)
This is a healthy 121.3 proof. Color is a deep red mahogany. Gorgeous. Thin film but thick thick legs on the swirl. Big bourbon nose, with caramel, then light vanilla, and lovely oak. Big bold flavors on the palate, with vanilla, dark chocolate, candied cherries, and oak. Medium mouthfeel. Finish long and lingering.
What Thomas and Drew Soltau are doing with their MGP sourced bourbons is amazing. Unlike the bourbons being put out by other non-distiller producers that have that craft bitterness with age statements ranging from two to four years, Sugarfield’s MGP bourbons are in the seven to eight year range and are being sold at prices competitive with Penelope and Pinhook. But it’s not just age, it is because the Soltau brothers know their bourbon, and are picking good barrels.
Lastly, Sugarfield has now signed on with Republic as their distributor. This means that liquor outlets who were reluctant to take on new smaller distributors to carry Sugarfield products will be able to order from Sugarfield easily from one of the two nationwide distributors. This is a huge step in growth for the Sugarfield brand.
Additionally, when you start venturing out from the pandemic and find yourself on I-10 between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, do stop in for a tour and drinks at Sugarfield’s plant and tasting room in Gonzales, LA, just a stones throw from the Interstate. You will be glad you did.