Del Bac Whiskeys
In 2006, while drinking Scotch and barbecuing with mesquite scraps from the custom furniture company, Arroyo Design, good folks at Hamilton Distillers thought, "Why couldn’t we malt barley over mesquite instead of peat, as they do in Scotland, for a single-malt whiskey with a flavor distinctive to the American Southwest?"
Unable to shake the concept of a Sonoran Desert single-malt, Stephen began learning how to malt barley and make whiskey, starting with a 5-gallon alembic pot-still from Portugal.
Graduating to a 40-gallon pot-still in 2011, Stephen and his daughter Amanda incorporated Hamilton Distillers and product-development was officially underway. By 2013 the three distinctly different Whiskeys Del Bac hit the local Tucson marketplace and was warmly embraced by The Old Pueblo.
In January of 2014, they graduated to a 500-gallon distillery and malt house in a larger location. On December 18, 2014, folks ran their first spirit run on the new still and started aging barrels of whiskey. While the first malting system involved floor malting 70 lb batches and then drying the malt in a meat style smoker they constructed, the new malthouse allows them to malt 5,000 lb batches using a tank system in which they are able to steep, germinate and dry between two tanks.
Hamilton Distillers malt their own barley, and mash, ferment, distill, barrel and bottle under one roof. They are especially proud to say they do it all themselves and never source or chill-filter.