Our Story

Thumb Butte Distillery. A Legend in The Making

There were rumblings of this thing going on from the beginning. From the time we met, we loved to make merry and mix and talk about it: why wasn’t there a distillery in this town, the home of “Whiskey Row”?

Our musings turned into the first legal distillery here since prohibition ended in 1933.

When we were younger, we dreamed of being princes and princesses, cowboys and indians, astronauts and heroes of all stripes. Between then and now, one prince became a glam rockstar and the rest plutocrats or oligarchs, a princess lived and died, the wild west became a thing of academic historic revisionism and continuing legal battles over land and water, being spaced out came and went, and bogeys and stripes helped solidify the long living legend of Bill Murray. Today we embark on building another living legend, the Thumb Butte Distillery.

We came together with one mission: to stake a claim in the growing American small batch distilling business and live in the rich history of Arizona. With a taste for the unique flavors and an unwavering quest to be the best, these four horsemen (actually one horseman, one horsewoman, a doctor of mixology and a scientist of mechanical ingenuity) are riding out boldly to create a lasting impression on the hearts, minds and tastebuds of the world. It’s an act of faith, unabashed hubris, and never-ending sweat and tears to make this dream of ours a reality.

Today our goal is to achieve “smoothness” without sacrificing proof!

About our aging process…

In the United States whiskey under 2 years old usually has no age statement.
Check out the top shelf Scotch/Single Malt in a good liquor store. Up to one third of the bottles, especially the Japanese and Craft Distillers, have no age statement.

We use age old processes as well as 21st century applications and our whiskey is less than 2 years old.

We use old world technologies that until recently have fallen into disuse. One such technique is motion/vibration and mimics the old “technology” of putting whiskeys in barrels and shipping it from the land of Montezuma to the land of Cortez.

The Japanese have developed many new technologies to create a world class single malt in a few months. Smaller barrels have a greater liquid to wood ratio: for example, 3 to 6 months aging in a 5 gallon barrel is equal to 3 years in a standard 53 gallon whiskey barrel.

American white oak is the standard barrel wood and we use it to impart color and flavor. We also use the appropriate char for each product.

We distill, age, filter and blend our own whiskeys to taste.

We have started a program of introducing smoke to our single malt. We started with cherry wood smoked malted barely as a small percentage of the mash bill. We are planning to employ mesquite and maple in search of the perfect flavor.

We age our Single Malt Whiskey with oak previously used for our Bloody Basin Bourbon and then it’s finished with used Oloroso Sherry oak.

We do not use wood chips. We do not use any artificial color or flavor.

We do use staves from old Port and Sherry barrels to enhance flavor and color. We also infuse our american oak with various flavor profiles and char our own oak staves.

Be a part of it: visit the incredibly entertaining and welcoming tasting room, have a shot or hand-crafted cocktail, and enjoy what could be the most memorable part of another beautiful day in Northern Arizona.

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